FEMA member MAG UK (Motorcycle Action Group) defends an exemption from user charging of bikes in the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). MAG UK has responded on behalf of the 200,000 motorcylists that ride in London every day.
Selina Lavender, MAG UK’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 £12.50 a day.”
MAG UK 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.
- 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 UK 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.