MAG calls for suspension of ULEZ charges for motorcycles
Monday, April 29, 2019 at 11:28AM
Nick Tunstill


The Motorcycle Action Group (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 

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

Article originally appeared on South East Biker Magazine - For motorcycle news and events (
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