Low emissions victory for Swedish bikers

Published on 4 June 2018 by Robert Drane

In a useful precedent for British bikers, motorcycles and mopeds will be able to ride without restriction in all of Sweden’s new low emission zones after lobbying by the country’s riders’ organisation.

In March 2018, the Swedish government announced that municipalities will be able to introduce three emission zones from January 2020 which could see high-emission vehicles pay higher congestion charges for using certain roads or entering certain areas.

The Swedish Motorcyclist Association (SMC) were consulted and the Swedish Transport Agency agreed that, because the total emissions from motorcycles and mopeds in Sweden are very low, they will be able to travel without restriction in all emission zones – including the stringent Zone 3, which only permits vehicles powered by fuel cells, purely electric vehicles and conventional vehicles that meet the demanding Euro 6 emission standard.

Applauding the ruling, the SMC’s Maria Nordqvist – who is also featured in the latest issue of BMF Rider – said: For the SMC, the decision is welcome. It shows that the government does not see motorcycles and mopeds as an environmental problem in Stockholm and other Swedish municipalities. This shows that the government sees motorcycles and mopeds as vehicles that contribute to reduced congestion, increased accessibility, and contribute to sustainable cities.”

While this is a clear victory for Swedish bikers and the SMC, the decision has ramifications beyond Sweden’s borders and could also be very helpful for British lobbying efforts. The precedent of a national transport authority recognising motorcycles and mopeds as smart and environmentally friendly vehicles which help to improve air quality in cities may help persuade British authorities of the same thing.

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