BMF: "Not everyone will benefit from Ultra Low Emission Zone"


Published on 1 December 2014 by Gill

London’s air quality has improved significantly in recent years and complies with almost all of the European Union’s legal air pollutant levels. However, London is still producing too much nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

BMF's Government Relations Exec, Graeme Hay said: "I am very excited at the possibilities the electric motorcycles will bring to helping to make the air in London cleaner than it may have been since the city was founded. The ULEZ is a wonderful prospect for 2020 when most of the petrol or electric motorcycles being used will be exempt from this rather hefty charge.  Not everyone will be able to benefit from this, though. 

"On behalf of those few riders whose machines will be more than 13 years old in 2020 I regard the grouping of motorcycles in the same bracket as much larger engine cars and vans as ill-informed.  These motorcycles produce the smallest percentage of the Nitrous Oxides and other gases but enable many folk to get to and from their places of work without blocking streets, taking-up large areas for parking or demanding very expensive alterations to the layout of the streets and footways of the city.  I cannot believe that anyone running a machine older than 13 years will be in a position to afford to pay £12.50 per day, which is a staggering £62.50 or more per week in additional taxation.  I must regard this proposal as socially divisive, in its proposed form; it will strike at the so many of the least well-off workers in central London.  I encourage BMF Members to respond to the consultation on this matter."

Around 4,300 deaths in London are attributed to air quality related illness, so Transport for London and the Mayor have come up with plans for an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London.

The ULEZ means all vehicles driving in the area have to meet new exhaust emission standards. The ULEZ would take effect from 7 September 2020, and apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A vehicle that does not meet the ULEZ standards could still be driven in central London but a daily charge would have to have been paid to do so.

The ULEZ standards would apply to the same area as the existing Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ) shown below and will operate in addition to the CCZ, where air pollution levels are consistently the highest in London and where people experience the greatest exposure. Standards would be enforced using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, which are already used for CCZ enforcement.

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All residents living in the ULEZ will be given a three-year grace period (up until 6 September 2023) before the daily charge applies to them. This is to acknowledge that they are unable to avoid the zone and so may require more time to change their vehicle to meet the ULEZ standards. 

More information can be found on the Transport for London webpage here