MAG calls for suspension of ULEZ charges for motorcycles

MAG has formally requested a suspension of charges on motorcycles in the new London Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) citing the flawed evidence used to justify the charge.

MAG has formally requested a suspension of charges on motorcycles in the new London Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) citing the flawed evidence used to justify the charge.  MAG is calling for a suspension to allow Transport for London (TfL) time to conduct valid research into emissions from older motorcycles and scooters.

MAG wrote formally to Sadiq Khan in March, ahead of the 8th April launch of the Mayor’s flagship policy to tackle air pollution in the capital.
National Chair of MAG, Selina Lavender, cited a number of reasonable justifications for a delay in the implementation of proposed charges for motorcycles.  In the letter Lavender listed the following justification for a delay:

  • The implementation date for ULEZ is currently just 6 weeks away.
  • This allows insufficient time to overcome all the technical issues
    around individual testing and verification of emission levels of
    pre-Euro3 PTWs.
  • There is insufficient time remaining for owners of pre-Euro3 machines
    to take the appropriate action to meet compliance by changing their vehicles where appropriate.
  • In many cases individual exemptions have been issued based on evidence
    from Certificates of Conformity.  There is now a very real issue of discrimination simply due to some owners of identical machines having been unable to secure personal exemption despite owning identical machines that, by extension, must meet the required emissions standard.
  • Given that many machines have already achieved individual exemption
    and, by TfL’s own estimations, the number of non-compliant bikes was already only in the region of 4000 machines, the emissions and revenue impact of a delayed implementation will be insignificant in comparison to the injustice of the above defined discrimination.
  • Delaying implementation for PTWs will enable a fair and just
    implementation at a later date should the evidence support charging.

Selina commented “Despite many meetings and discussions between MAG and TfL, the Mayor chose to ignore the clear logic of a delay, and indeed made no attempt to respond personally to the letter.  It is for this reason that MAG have decided to continue to keep campaigning for the exemption of all motorcycles from the charge.”

In the latest letter, Selina wrote “It would therefore seem clear that TfL’s cited evidence is, at best, highly questionable, and demonstrates that the ULEZ charge is knowingly being applied to vehicles that are below, and in many cases far below, the emissions standard that has been set.

The Motorcycle Action Group is therefore formally requesting a suspension of charges for all motorcycles and scooters until an equitable and legal application of the charging system can be agreed based upon the evidence that TfL cite, and any further empirical evidence that can be found.”

MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown,
commented: “We have continued to put much time and effort into researching the claimed evidence cited by TfL to justify the charge for older motorcycles.  That work has reinforced our claim that there is no evidential basis to justify the charge for motorcycles.  We are therefore demanding a suspension of the charge whilst further research and evidence is gathered by TfL to demonstrate a justification, or a decision is taken to accept that there is no reason to continue the charge.”

MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, warns:
‘we predicted chaos if there was no delay to the implementation.  Now that the ULEZ has been implemented, that chaos is upon us and with it comes the growing inevitability of legal cases being brought to bear against TfL by riders who have been victimised by this draconian policy.

Of course the real irony is that the charge on motorcycles is counter-productive in terms of the results it aims to achieve.  We should not need to follow the example of recent environmental protests to get the Mayor to listen to reason but, if we must, then that is exactly what we may do.’

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or