MCIA “extremely disappointed” with ULEZ bike charges

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Published on 8 April 2019 by Mike Waters

The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) has sharply criticised Transport for London (TfL) and its stance on charging pre-2007 motorcycles as part of the introduction of an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London.

In a statement released on April 8, the day the ULEZ was launched in the capital, the MCIA said it was “extremely disappointed to see that riders of Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs), that occupy minimal road space and reduce traffic congestion, are charged at the same rate as single-occupancy 4x4s from the same era.”

The ULEZ was brought in to reduce air pollution in London and this is defined as the emission of certain amounts of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in vehicle exhausts. All post-2007 motorcycles have been built to meet this requirement, the Euro 3 standard, of emitting no more than 0.15g/km and are therefore exempt from the £12.50 per day charge – as the BMF has previously reported.

However, the MCIA has pointed out that: “TfL has chosen a cut-off registration date for PTW exemption of July 2007, even though many motorcycles and scooters registered before then do not exceed the required NOx limit of 0.15 g/km. At present, it is up to the rider to prove that their vehicle is compliant, which may require an emissions test at the cost of £175.

“It is not hard to imagine the uproar if a similar burden was placed on car drivers.”

As a result, owners of compliant motorcycles are currently subject to the ULEZ charge and potentially to penalty charges as well. The MCIA has requested a meeting with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to discuss the issue but has yet to receive a response at time of writing. They have also called upon TfL to “suspend the charge for PTWs and engage on this topic so that PTWs of all types can assume their rightful place at the heart of the air quality and congestion solution, instead of being erroneously vilified.”

Commenting, CEO of the MCIA Tony Campbell said: “The Mayor of London and TFL have simply got this wrong. PTWs can and do provide cost effective, non-congesting and, in most cases, low- or zero-polluting transport solutions in the urban environment. We find it quite incredible that TFL and the Mayor continue to discriminate against the users of motorcycles and scooters and to ignore their benefits, while the Mayor has failed again to support his own manifesto commitments”.

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