How ULEZ Will Impact Motorcyclists

Published: April 5, 2019

Ultra Low Emissions Zone will be effective as of Monday 8th April 2019, the new introduction will see a £12.50 per day charge for motorcycles manufactured before the introduction of Euro 3 in 2007 to ride through the City of London; it is believed that almost 2000 motorcycles in the City will be impacted by the new change.

Although we all understand why there’s a need to lower pollution and emissions especially in the Capital – for the health benefits, for our future generations and for our planet, but it seems us motorcyclists have been tarred with the same brush as those running HGV lorries, diesel-spilling vans and buses, and general old bangers.

There are ways to overcome the ULEZ charge for those owners of pre-2007 machines by proving that your motorbike complies with the new emissions standards. This can be done by providing a Certificate of Conformity from the manufacturer or by paying to have your motorcycle tested, which can cost £175.

The next step is to roll out the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone will be rolled out to the South and North Circular boundaries by 2021 meaning that it reach areas covering a wide area will impact even thousands more motorcyclists.

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), as well as the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) have been working hard to try to convince Transport for London to change the ULEZ charge for motorcyclists, by asking them to wait until clearly data can be proved showing that motorcycles actually comply with the new low emissions criteria.

London bus and motorbike

Motorcycling is popular in London, but will the ULEZ charge impact this?

MCIA Communications Manager, Nick Broomhall said: “Although initially in favour of this suggestion, it is now apparent that TfL is intent on respecting the 8th April introduction date, as it believes only about 2000 PTWs are affected.

“We are now pursuing the Mayor’s office daily about this. We have a pretty good relationship with TfL and things had looked positive. Then it went a little bit quiet. This is probably a bigger issue than TfL imagined. There are motorcycle models older than 2007 that meet the relevant emissions standard but because it was never envisaged that this information would be needed in the future, it was not recorded at the time.

“Potentially, people could be paying the ULEZ charge when they don’t need to. I think everyone needs to take a deep breath until we have all the information we need. That would be the best course for TfL and for the riding community. ”

The motorcycling community has always gone above and beyond to encourage new riders to join them, by helping reduce congestion and a great way of saving money – however will these new charges deter any influx of new riders?

Does the new ULEZ impact you and your motorcycle? Do you think it’s fair for motorcyclist to be charged on the same tariff as buses and lorries?

3 comments on “How ULEZ Will Impact Motorcyclists”

I responded when the official plans went public, stating my discontent at the plans – as we all know, motorbikes put out less emissions, weigh less (so do not wear the road surface as much as a car would), and we are all charged relatively more for VED than cars as well – for instance, a car with the same emissions as my 2018 Superduke 1290 R would pay nothing, or £25 a year at most, whereas we have to pay almost 4 times that! Not to mention the fact that the study done in Belgium that shows if 10% of car drivers moved to two wheels of some description, there would be 40% less congestion (that goes to 60% if 25% of drivers changed), so there would naturally be less pollution as there would be less sitting around spewing fumes.

avatarAlan Clarksays:

I was in London a couple of weeks ago near Westminster and a London Taxi went by belching smoke out that would have caused him being pulled over down here in Eastbourne..

avatarMark Penricesays:

As far as I’m aware, inability to comply with Euro 3 is why my bike (CG125) was withdrawn from the EU market… though if that standard is based on how much it puts out per kilometre it must presumably burn some of the sump oil right from the factory given how little petrol it uses. Even though it’s definitely not as efficient as a typical car in terms of fuel used per kwh of useful power, in traffic it goes 2 to 3 times further than an otherwise economical supermini on the same amount, so the maximum amount of exhaust it can produce is limited…

There is the rather glaring two issues that it hasn’t got a catalyser (on the other hand, it does have a post-combustion air intake system that’s supposed to provide a degree of afterburning to do some of the work that a cat would) and it’s carburetted, which wouldn’t really have been unusual amongst bikes at the time, but either that means truly astonishing amounts of restricted emissions that should have killed me stone dead last time I started it up in the garage… or they’re going purely on what proportion of the entire volume of exhaust produced is represented by those components, and pay no attention to what amount of exhaust is produced per kilometre, what the difference is between idling and running at speed, how much less time a bike spends idling or at inefficient engine speeds vs running at relatively clean-burning rpm and throttle etc, which doesn’t really seem fair.

I do wonder which it is … and whether, once warmed up and with the PAIR system working correctly, the old warhorse might actually squeak through Euro III should I submit it for a one-off certification, or if it would be slapped with an unequivocal damning of its emissions as entirely unacceptable by one measure or the other … and whether it would even be possible to get a readout of the relevant details as part of the regular tests when I next have it MOT’d (sometime in the next fortnight with any luck)

(I’m in Birmingham, but this is still relevant as they’re bringing in something similar at the start of next year, covering everything inside the main ring road including the A38 which is otherwise essentially a through-the-middle bypass which is undercover for much of its length and doesn’t pass particularly close to many buildings or major pedestrian areas, and it’s not entirely clear whether bikes are exempted or not)

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