Bikes facing London congestion charge

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All motorcycles built before 2007 will be charged the same fee as cars to enter the London congestion charge zone under current plans by the capital’s transport authority.

The new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is due to come into force in 2020 and under the current outline it would mean all vehicles built before 2007 would be liable for a charge, with motorcycles liable to be charged the same as cars; projected to be £12.50 per day.

The plans in the consultation state: “The ULEZ would require all vehicles driving in central London to meet new exhaust emission standards (ULEZ 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 rules would mean any motorcycle built before 2007 and the implementation of the Euro3 emissions regulations would be forced to pay the congestion charge but by 2020 the newest bikes would be 13 years old. Transport for London (TfL) claim many of the current bikes affected would be swapped by then but this will still cause problems for many riders and force many off the road in central London.

Despite the fact that bike account for less than 1% of nitrous oxide emissions and help to reduce congestion for all travellers by removing cars from the road, older bikes are regarded as heavy polluters.

A quote from the public consultation states: “Motorcycles, mopeds and similar vehicles can be extremely polluting on an individual basis but, in total, account for a small proportion of kilometres driven in central London.”

The public consultation is now open and can be found here.

Rider group MAG is urging all motorcyclists potentially affected by this change to the current rules where all two-wheelers are congestion charge exempt to have their say and lodge comments on the public consultation to ensure our voices are heard.

You can do that here.

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter