McTours Ltd is a small business with one director and sole shareholder, Brian Watson. All accountability rests with the director and all staff; permanent and temporary or contract workers will report to the director. The director is responsible for implementing, maintaining and adhering to the safety management system process.
The business operates as a motorcycle tour operator and engages tour guides who hold knowledge of the area and command of the language in the country being toured. The guides local knowledge helps where a change of direction proves necessary such as to avoid road works. We do not rely upon GPS systems but all guides will have a Satellite Navigation aid to use if necessary.
All tour guides will have completed an advanced motorcycle test and be encouraged to participate as volunteers with local groups of The Institute of Advanced Motorists in at least an observer capacity so that they can maintain their skill level.
The company deliver guided motorcycle tours in select parts of Europe. All areas toured are researched to create scenic routes with safe and interesting places to stop that have suitable establishments for refreshments, and most importantly roads that have good surface with lots of twists and turns that appeal the riders. All routes are designed to give shortcuts so that in the event of an emergency a more rapid route to the destination is possible.
A rider’s attention span is known to drop after 90 minutes and so we break at these time intervals. Daily routes rarely exceed 200 miles and designed to form four stages, each stage up to 50 miles and up to 90 minutes ride time. Sometimes this is for refreshment or a meal and other times to visit something of interest such as a historical building. The average speed is low because we ride the backroads and riders will often want to stop to take photographs.
The number of tourist riders in a group is usually no more than six. The safety of the group is paramount and so the group will be led by a guide and if there are more than four riders or the route is likely to travel through congested streets a second guide will tail the group to ensure no one gets lost. If there are more than six riders we separate the riders to form extra groups each accompanied by one or two guides.
As a tour operator, McTours Ltd is fully compliant with The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 and any amendments thereof. Full details of this legislation are available here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/3288/contents/made
The company guides will understand the highway code of each country in which they act as a guide and will comply with any special rules that may be applicable in the country to be toured including observing speed limits.
French law requires riders to have Hi-Viz clothing, reflective stickers of their helmet, breathalysers and have CE approved gloves. We believe this is good policy and supply our riders with:
High Visibility Vests and/or Gillet’s;
Four reflective strips to be placed on back, front and sides of their helmet or we loan the rider a helmet that already has these in place. Loan gloves and other appropriate riding gear are also offered if riders do not already have CE approved items;
Two disposable breathalysers are supplied to each rider and if a rider is in any doubt about their fitness to ride due to earlier alcohol consumption they are invited to test the alcohol in their blood stream prior to riding. If the tour guide suspects any rider may be over the limit they will insist on a breathalyser test. No rider can join the group if there is any doubt about their sobriety.
Speed limits are strictly adhered to:
The guide will lead the group at a speed that is within the applicable limit and appropriate to the road conditions whilst recognising the ability of the weakest rider in the group;
The guide will monitor the gap between riders and if the group is spreading out the pace will be reduced until a pace is found that maintains an orderly group that is maintaining a safe braking distance between each rider.
The highway code for the country to be toured is studied by the guide:
A summary of key facts that may differ between countries is given to all riders prior to the first day of riding.
Prior to each tour the guide will address key safety awareness matters. Riders must know the potential hazards they face when riding in a foreign country especially if riding on the opposite side of the road from usual.
Riders will affirm:
How long they have held a licence,
Motor insurers may not cover any rider who has held a license for under 2 years;
When they last rode,
Those who have not ridden in many years may pose a risk to others;
The size and weight of motorcycle typically ridden,
Some of the bikes we rent weigh over 400kg and so we need to know the ability of those who handle such machines;
The distance and time they typically ride each day,
Some daily rides are 200 miles, those who have not ridden such distances might struggle with such a route;
They are fit to ride,
any ailments of medication that might impair riding should be disclosed, e.g. if diabetic they must check their blood sugar levels prior to riding and at least every 2 hours thereafter;
It is ultimately up to the rider to determine their general health and fitness is sufficient for the journey;
They will be in charge of their machine at all times and understand we do not give instruction; we merely guide the way.
The McTours tour guide will:
Conduct a Risk Assessment,
Specific areas of risk as identified during the Risk Assessment will be highlighted to riders before that section of the journey begins;
Determine whether any rider is likely to be a risk to other riders in the group,
any rider deemed unfit to ride cannot participate in the tour until their fitness to ride has reached the minimum requirement;
Recommend a the machine most appropriate to each rider based on their experience;
Present an overview of the planned route,
some detail about the initial section,
types of roads,
direction of travel,
Make forward and rear observation paying close attention not only to the riders in front but also to the rider behind and the gap between the bikes;
Pay special awareness and suggestions on road position to maximise the view of the road ahead and provide the earliest opportunity for a rider to recognise potential hazards;
Group riding protocol – the drop off system will be used at major junctions whereby the second rider in the group waits at a junction to highlight the route for others and pulls back into the group when he sees the rear guide so that this rider now becomes the second last rider in the group;
Advise of the procedure if making an unscheduled stop e.g. to take a photograph;
Tell riders what to do in the event of an accident.
Motorcycles will be sourced in the area to be toured from reputable dealers. All motorcycles will be late model, low mileage and fully maintained machines.
check service history;
validate insurance cover;
verify road worthiness of vehicle;
ensure tyres have tread appropriate for the total distance to be travelled on the tour.
Motorcycle tyres last about 5,000 miles, many of our tours cover 1500 miles, so good tread is needed at the outset.
Although all motorcycles will be inspected by a McTours representative the customer must also check their machine at the beginning of each day to ensure:
there are no defects;
there is a full tank of fuel;
the oil and water levels are within tolerable margins;
there are no electrical faults and all lights are working;
tyre pressure is correct, there are no foreign bodies embedded in the tyres and that the tread is good.
Any accident no matter how minor must be reported to the director at the earliest opportunity. If emergency services are needed they should be contacted in the first instance.
The director will report any accident to the insurer and/or the motorcycle rental agent in the first instance but the rider will undoubtedly need to make a statement at a later stage.
A detailed analysis of how the accident occurred and what could have been done to avoid the hazard should be compiled as soon as possible after the incident whilst matters remain fresh in the mind. Thereafter the incident will be discussed and if action can be taken in future to avoid a reoccurrence this shall be implemented into all future ride plans and pre-tour briefings.
The company is responsible for the health and safety of its employees. These employees have to look after their own health and safety and in the course of our business we have to take care of the health and safety of others that we come into contact with.
McTours Ltd will:
Strive to ensure staff are safety conscious in their working environment,
Bearing in mind we ride on public roads all guides will be Advanced Riders and active members on an Advanced Riding Group to ensure their standards are maintained;
Demonstrate that every reasonable effort has been made towards the prevention of harm to staff and the people we come into contact with;
Not give riders instruction on how to ride:
all riders will hold a licence appropriate for the motorcycle to be ridden, they are in charge of their motorcycle at all times and take responsibility for their own actions;
Ascertain whether an individual is fit and safe to perform the job for which he/she is being considered;
Advise on any requirement for reasonable adjustments that may need to be made to the work activity or environment, in view of the individual's capabilities;
Provide employees with general advice on other health matters;
Confidentially maintain any records including medical questionnaires, medicals and health surveillance.