How many pre-Euro3 motorcycles need to be charged to offset NOx emissions from an Airbus A320?

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has expressed anger on discovering that the proposed Heathrow Ultra Low Emission Zone (HULEZ) will include a charge on older motorcycles.

Proposals for a charge for more polluting vehicles driving to London’s Heathrow Airport terminals were announced in May this year.  Despite the press reports suggesting that the HULEZ would mirror Sadiq Khan’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone, there was no readily available information to confirm whether the charge would affect motorcycles.

MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, commented:
“It would seem unlikely to anyone with an ounce of common sense that a charge on road vehicles will do anything to reduce overall emissions in anything approaching a meaningful way when opening an entire new runway at Heathrow Airport.  Despite this, Heathrow seem intent on virtue signalling their way through a consultation on this very idea.  Imagine our disgust, therefore, when we discovered that the plan even proposes to repeat Khan’s basic error of charging a transport mode proven to help reduce emissions.  How many pre-Euro3 motorcycles do they think it would take to emit the same amount of NOx as an Airbus A320?!”

Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown said:
“The proposal to include pre-Euro3 motorcycles in this daft scheme was hidden deep – very deep.  In fact it was buried so deep that we had to specifically ask for confirmation on the subject.  The response shocked me.  Yes, Heathrow are proposing to exactly copy the London Mayor’s illogical policy on motorcycles.  They seem somewhat embarrassed about this though, as the reference to motorcycles is hidden away in a single table of emissions standards buried on page 229 of a 444 page ‘Surface Access Proposals’ document.

“Needless to say MAG will be making a formal response to the consultation, and we encourage all bikers to follow suit.  There is simply no justification for this charge to be imposed.”

The consultation can be accessed via the Heathrow consultation website
The consultation covers an enormous amount of detail on a host of different subjects including:

  • Preferred Masterplan for expansion;
  • Plans to operate the future airport;
  • Preliminary assessment of the effects of the airport’s growth;
  • Plans to manage the effects of expansion.

If you only wish to respond on the particular issue of the proposed HULEZ, MAG recommends that you use the email response option by emailing your comments to  The closing date for the consultation is 13th September 2019.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or