3 July 2017

MAG challenges London ULEZ

MAG submits case for user charge exemption for all motorbikes

This version:   2017 06 29                            Embargo: IMMEDIATE

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has responded on behalf of London's 200,000 every day riders to defend an exemption from user charging of bikes in the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ).

Selina Lavender, MAG's Chair, has shared MAG's determination to ensure an exemption.  'The bike charging proposal was part of a package to reduce emissions – even though a shift towards motorbikes reduces emissions.  We've made a comprehensive submission to explain why it's utterly counterproductive to tax part of the solution, namely powered two wheelers.  The charge is £12.50 a day.'

MAG made the following points:

•       Commuters on bikes are virtually zero NOx emissions producers – and far ahead of buses.  That's why an exemption for bikes (of all ages) is right – because car drivers who shift to motorcycles and scooters reduce overall emissions due to the tiny emissions footprint of a bike.

•       Research shows if 10% of motorists moved to motorcycles for their daily commute there would be a 40% reduction in congestion.  Air pollution is a feature of congestion. That means motorcycles help achieve air quality targets, so charging them makes no sense.

•       The Government says in its air pollution report published in May 2017: The impact of including motorcycles and mopeds in CAZs have not been modelled. These vehicles only represent a small proportion of total NOx emissions so it is not expected that they will be included in the access restrictions for the majority of zones.

•       Some low wage earners use bikes for financial reasons.  Charging them when they produce almost no emissions – or forcing onto more expensive public transport – is a 'tax' on lower wage earners.  An exemption is socially fair.

MAG is closely following the emissions debate to ensure that bikers are not charged while other vehicles which make no contribution to reducing congestion (and emissions caused by traffic jams), such as electric cars, are exempt.  This remains a key element in the campaigning work of the movement.

For full details of MAG's response go to: https://wiki.mag-uk.org/images/7/74/ULEZ_2017_06_21.pdf

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