GB Capital Emissions

london-emmission-zone-250The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has confirmed the introduction of an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in the capital of the UK on the 7th September 2020, all motorcycles over 13 years old will have to pay £12.50 per day to enter the zone, the same charge as other vehicles

All cars, motorcycles, vans, minibuses and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) will need to meet exhaust emission standards (ULEZ standards) or pay an additional daily charge to travel within the zone, motorcycles do not have to pay the current congestion charge in London.

Motorcycle, moped and similar vehicles which meet European Emissions – Euro 3 – which is a motorcycle manufactured since 1st July 2007 will meet the ULEZ standards and thus will not have to pay.

What about vehicles registered in Northern Ireland with registrations managed in the UK by the licensing authority – Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) based in Swansea Wales – GB/UK?

Well there is no escape as our vehicles in Northern Ireland that are apparently registered outside Great Britain will also need to meet the ULEZ standards or pay the daily charge.

The ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the same area as the current Congestion Charging zone (CCZ).

There will be no barriers and tollbooths. Cameras will read your number plate as you enter, leave or drive within the zone and check it against the database of those who meet the ULEZ standards or need to pay the daily charge.

All vehicles that have a ‘historic’ vehicle tax class will be exempt from the ULEZ – further details – Vehicle excise duty: 40 year rolling exemption for classic vehicles

Vehicles that have a ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled passenger vehicle’ tax class (‘disabled exemption’) will be granted a three year sunset period with a 100% discount, up until 6 September 2023.

Transport For London ran a consultation from 27th October 2014 to the 9th January 2015 which was responded to by both rider organisations – Motorcycle Action group (MAG UK) and the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF).

BMF: The BMF welcomes & supports an improvement in the quality of the air in London as a step which will bring benefit to the health and wellbeing of its members.  Whilst the BMF recognises that every road user group will see themselves as a worthy exception the BMF believes that, in striving to achieve these benefits a disproportionate impact in the access to the economic and social benefits associated with independent transport could result for those least well placed to face the resultant financial challenges. The group concerned is an unquantifiable but extremely small element of a road a user group, which is considered in the round to be the source of a really tiny proportion of the NO2 emissions.

The MCIA (Motorcycle Industry Association) in GB also responded to the consultation and the word is, gleaned from social media is that their lobbying continues,  maintaining that, “it’s unfair to charge both bikes and cars the same irrespective of the continuing congestion charge exemption for bikes.”

Although motorcycles remain exempt from congestion charging this Ultra Low Emission Zone is according to Transport For London about protecting human health, the European Union has set legal limits for concentrations of pollutants in outdoor air, including particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). These apply to London and the UK as whole.

It’s the responsibility of the UK Government, boroughs and the Mayor to take action in order to meet these limits. Failure to do so may result in significant fines being imposed on the UK Government under EU law.

There is no getting away from it that motorcycles pollute to a certain extend and we should have our part to play but it is about parity in relation to other vehicles.

London appears to have moved ahead but not as strict as other European cities such as Paris, where it is reported by the riders’ organisation in France that there would be a total ban on motorcycles made before a certain year (2000). FFMC the riders organisation has already been lobbying and doing one of the things they do best, bringing thousands of riders out on the streets to protest.

So if your planning a trip to London on your bike which requires you to enter this Ultra Low Emission Zone then you have ten years to prepare to save up for the £12.50 charge per day if your bike doesn’t meet the emissions standards or if you put away £12.50 a day until 2015 you will be able to buy a hell of an emissions beating motorcycle for around your £44,000 savings.

Or as motorcycles and scooters will now join cars, vans, trucks and buses in the government’s drive for greener vehicles, you could go electric.

Electric Grants

ebike-mcia-250Up to £7.5 million will be set aside to boost the uptake for electric 2 wheelers and help bikers bridge the cost gap between a zero emission electric motorcycle and conventional petrol versions.

The grant could offer up to £1500 off the purchase price and allow motorcyclists to reduce both their running costs and environmental impact.

The move comes following meetings with the electric Motor Cycle Industry Association and leading manufacturers including Suzuki, Harley Davidson, BMW, Volt, and Mahindra.

The funding is being made available from the £500 million Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) programme for the period 2015 to 2020.

Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCIA says this news bodes well for both industry and the UK’s clogged roads: “This is significant development as it recognises the part motorcycles and scooters can play in a low carbon future. The Subsidy will encourage more people to opt for electric motorcycles and scooters, which will help solve the UK’s appalling congestion problem.

“Economically, it will provide a much needed boost to this sector of the automotive industry. We hope this will result in increased investment in UK research and development for electric powered two wheel vehicles.

“We also hope it will give manufacturers who already have electric models for sale in mainland Europe the confidence to launch in the UK.”

MCIA says that research* shows powered two wheelers help reduce congestion for all road users. They also take up far less space to park, expanding available parking in city centres and the workplace.

Belfast to London by electric motorcycle, there’s a challenge for 2020 especially if it could be done without needing to charge up on the way there!

Information & Links

Transport For London – Ultra Low Emission Zone – Click Here

London’s Ultra-Low Emissions Zone: the BMF responds – Click Here

Government revs up motorcycle market – Click Here

MCIA – Plug in grant extended to motorcycles – Click Here

*Commuting by Motorcycle – Click Here

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  1. Glad I moved to the country. Why does Boris not ban all internal combustion engines, thus alleviating citizens of the need to own a vehicle, and provided he supplies plenty of public transport, citizens can still get about. Drones can deliver goods to shops/warehouses. No charge for drones.
    OOppss. Can we travel by drone. No road contact there.

  2. Bikers Against Transport For London

    A protest page against Transport For London’s plans to charge motorbike riders £12.50 to ride in London.

    MAG is also holding a demo in London to protest at the charges being levied on bikes (older than 14 years) from 2020 as part of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone, and the refusal by Transport for London to see bikes as part of the solution to traffic congestion, and not part of the problem; also to protest at the stupidity of the Cycle Superhighway, which will be turning half of Victoria Embankment into a cycle-only route, causing more congestion on the other side of the road.

    Saturday – 30th May 2015. Save the date – More details will be available soon.

    On Facebook – Click Here