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Swansea tops UK’s motorcycling hotspots in new survey

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New research has identified the UK’s motorbike capital cities and towns, and when including surrounding areas in the postcode, Swansea has come out top – with an incredible 3.92% of the nations motorcyclists settling here.

Hosting 141,782 riders, Swansea offers both shoreline and lush, green scenic routes so its hardly surprising that the city is the UK’s number one biker hotspot.

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The new research by Bikesure has named Wales as the third-highest biker hotspot in the UK, with 9,514 riders per 100,000 people.

To calculate Britain’s biker hot spots, Bikesure analysed the latest Department for Transport data to identify the number of licensed motorcyclists in the UK in 2021. This data was then broken down by region per 100,000 people, allowing Bikesure to pinpoint the top three locations that Britain’s bikers reside. 

Whilst expected in a post-Covid world that new bikers in the UK would rise due to lowered restrictions and the backlog of learners, Bikesure’s research shows biking within Britain has seen a sharp increase. 

In 2021, 36.9k new bikers were registered in the UK. With discussions around the need to address climate change increasing, the findings suggest a shift in the way Brits are travelling. The return of bikers was particularly prevalent in Wales, which boasted rider growth of 114% since 2020.

Wales also tops the list when it comes to the greatest number of urban bikers, with both Swansea (141,781 actual riders) and Llandudno (77,803 actual riders) making the top ten town and city hot spots list with 6% of all urban riders living in these locations. Wales also had 5% of the 38.6k newly registered motorcyclists in 2021, boasting 114% growth since 2020.

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Bikesure asked bikers in the UK’s hot spots what they felt their region offered to riders. They said:

  • The North East offers great rural riding experiences, as voted by 72% of bikers in this region.
  • Scottish riders feel a sense of camaraderie with 71% of riders rating the friendliness of other motorcyclists highly.
  • Welsh riders were happiest with the accessibility of garages to upkeep and maintain their motorcycles, as voted by 81% of bikers.

Looking at newly licensed riders, although there was a decline in 2020, presumably due to Covid, 2021 was a bumper year with 38.6k new bikers. Looking at demographics, 3.6k newly qualified motorcyclists were aged 20-29 years old, but 2021 also saw the highest number of riders aged 60-69 get their licence, with 911 registering in the first three quarters.

Most of these new bikers can be found in the South East, with Reading and Guilford revealed as the region’s most popular biker towns. There were 7.1k newly qualified motorcyclists in the South East region – a year-on-year increase of 86%.

Large jumps in the number of new riders were also seen in Greater London, the East Midlands and in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The East Midlands is in fact home to 30% of the top 10 cities for newly registered motorcyclists. Nottingham, Derby and Leicester in the East Midlands saw 2.5k new bikers licensed in 2021. As a region, it saw an 106% increase in riders, meaning it was also among the top three fastest growing regions year-on-year along with Wales, and Yorkshire and the Humber.

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Dyfed Powys Police

Drivers in Dyfed-Powys police area least likely to have car stolen

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New research has shown that drivers in Dyfed-Powys police’s area are the least likely to have their car stolen in all of England and Wales.

There were 623 vehicle thefts in 2021. This means just 1.2 cars were stolen per thousand households.

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The study, conducted by  A-Plan Insurance, was carried out by assessing Home Office data of vehicle thefts in each Police Force Area and determining the rate according to the number of thefts per household. 

With 100,185 cars stolen in London in 2021, England’s capital had 11.1. vehicle thefts per thousand households. This puts it first for the area where drivers are most likely to be the victims of vehicle theft. 

The West Midlands comes second for its vehicle crime rate, with 10.4 vehicle thefts per thousand households (30,608 cars stolen in 2021), while Greater Manchester had nine cars stolen per thousand households (25,495 vehicle thefts), making it the third most dangerous place to own a car. 

Cumbria and North Yorkshire are also some of the least likely areas for vehicle theft, with 727 and 1,433 cars stolen respectively in 2021. That’s 1.5 vehicle thefts per thousand households in Cumbria and 1.7 in North Yorkshire. 

The research also analysed data from 2020, to determine whether vehicle thefts have increased or decreased in each Police Force Area since last year, finding that although London is still the worst place for vehicle theft, the crime rate is improving. Compared to 2020, car thefts in the capital are down by nine per cent, however, it’s a different story in the West Midlands, with 12 per cent more vehicles stolen in 2021.  

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Greater Manchester also saw an increase of five per cent on last year, but Hampshire is the area where vehicle theft has increased the most, with 22 per cent more cars stolen in 2021 than in 2020. 

Gloucestershire has seen the biggest improvement when it comes to the number of cars stolen in the area, with nearly a third fewer thefts in 2021, compared to 2020. 

The full results of the research

Police Force Area Household figures (mid-2020) rounded to 100 Vehicle thefts per 1,000 households (year ending Dec 2021) Total vehicle thefts (year ending Dec 2021) Percentage change in vehicle thefts (from 2020 to 2021) 
London (Metropolitan Police and City of London) 3,543,000 11.1 100,185 -9 
West Midlands 1,148,800 10.4 30,608 12 
Greater Manchester 1,190,500 25,495 
South Yorkshire 599,500 7.5 10,572 -4 
Bedfordshire 267,900 6.9 4,704 -17 
West Yorkshire 964,400 6.1 14,358 -4 
Hertfordshire 485,400 7,180 
Essex 768,400 5.9 10,896 -6 
Warwickshire 247,600 5.4 3,167 -18 
Cleveland 245,100 5.2 2,989 
Thames Valley 964,200 4.9 12,000 -18 
Hampshire 839,500 4.9 9,760 22 
Nottinghamshire 489,000 4.9 5,714 -12 
Avon and Somerset 737,300 4.9 8,407 -4 
Leicestershire 438,800 4.8 5,330 -20 
Dorset 344,100 4.8 3,718 -4 
Merseyside 632,500 4.7 6,726 -1 
Cambridgeshire 345,600 4.7 4,028 -8 
Northamptonshire 316,900 4.6 3,512 -25 
Surrey 474,900 4.6 5,545 -7 
Kent 778,300 4.6 8,508 -14 
Lancashire 643,600 4.4 6,735 -1 
South Wales 582,100 4.2 5,610 -14 
Northumbria 648,200 4.1 6,082 -15 
Derbyshire  461,800 4,229 
Sussex 750,100 3.8 6,522 -3 
Gwent 256,700 3.7 2,242 -9 
Staffordshire 488,600 3.6 4,079 -8 
Durham 283,900 3.4 2,150 -16 
Humberside 407,600 3.3 3,052 -20 
West Mercia 556,600 3.1 3,977 
Gloucestershire 275,200 2.9 1,838 -31 
Suffolk 330,800 2.9 2,178 -18 
Lincolnshire 332,400 2.8 2,144 -10 
Wiltshire 309,700 2.7 1,947 -14 
Cheshire 467,300 2.4 2,604 -1 
Devon and Cornwall 778,700 1.8 3,210 -7 
Norfolk 398,800 1.8 1,613 -15 
North Wales 308,300 1.7 1,225 -4 
North Yorkshire 360,900 1.7 1,433 -22 
Cumbria 227,000 1.5 727 -13 
Dyfed-Powys 231,200 1.2 623 -12 

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for  A-Plan Insurance said: “Theft is one of the main concerns for drivers, especially if you live in an area like London or the West Midlands, where there’s a higher risk of your vehicle being stolen than there is in somewhere like Dyfed-Powys and Cumbria.

“It’s interesting to see that some of the places with the highest vehicle crime rates are improving, though, and drivers can rest easier by making sure they have adequate insurance cover for their vehicles to protect them from theft and other risks.” 

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Llanelli

West Wales car dealership to double in size

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Dafen-based Llanelli Motor Company have broken ground on a new development that will see their forecourt double in size over the coming months.

Led by Managing Director Ian Jonathan, the two-phase project will see the independent car dealership increase the number of used vehicles it has on sale to over 400 by January 2023.

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“It’s certainly an exciting period for the business,” said Ian, “and with the significant changes to the used car market, we felt now was the right time to start the project, which has been in the pipeline for over five years.”

Although the business was potentially looking at 2020 as a start date for the developments, the Coronavirus Pandemic put the brakes on the project.

However, since the easing of lockdown restrictions and the delay in obtaining new vehicles, the used car market has seen an unprecedented spike in demand.

Dafen based Llanelli Motor Company is planning to double in size
The company have broken ground on an expansion that will see over 400 cars on sale by the end of January 2023

“The last 12 months have been exceptionally busy,” continued Ian.

“No sooner are we finalising our 140-point safety check on vehicles before placing them on the forecourt, than they are being purchased within a matter of days”.

With the ability to stock 150 nearly new vehicles of all makes and models at the moment, the 1-acre expansion will increase this to 250 by September before more than doubling it to 400 by the spring of 2023.

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In order to facilitate this growth, the company will also be entering a recruitment phase and looking to employ at least 10 new members of staff across its sales, workshop and admin teams as well as taking on new apprenticeships.

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Lifestyle

Swansea man’s delight as he scoops combined £37,000 cash-and-car prize

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A Swansea man who was feeling lucky during the working week was left in a state of delighted disbelief on finding out he had won a combined £37,000 cash-and-car prize with online competitions company BOTB.

Anthony Brain from Swansea could not believe his luck when BOTB’s Christian Williams picked up the phone to let him know he was the winner of its Midweek Lifestyle competition.

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Anthony, who works for Swansea-based automotive products company Marelli, scooped a brand new BMW 128ti, as well as a cash prize of £2,000.

After recovering from his initial shock, Anthony said: “It’s absolutely unbelievable – I’m over-the-moon and still on a real high from it. It’s rare that I take part in the Midweek Lifestyle Competition – I think I’ve only entered it once or twice before – but I was feeling lucky during the working week, so thought ‘why not?’ When I got the call to say I’d won, I was stunned.

“Being a car enthusiast, I’m really excited about winning the car but the cash is brilliant too. We’ve already booked some holidays with some of the winnings, including to Italy and Florida. It’s nice to have something to look forward to.”

Anthony said his prize win has prompted colleagues to throw their hat in the ring and give BOTB’s competitions a go.

He added: “The thing is you’ve got to be in it to win it – and I think once you know someone who has won, you feel more hopeful that you could be in with a chance. I’d encourage anyone thinking about entering to try it for themselves.”

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Other recent winners have bagged a motorbike, a luxury holiday to Barbados and £15,000 in cash. 

The company, listed on the stock market, was founded by William Hindmarch in 1999 and has given away more than £47m worth of cars so far. 

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