Mayor of London ignoring ‘common sense’ on motorcycle policy

10.53 | 2 March 2018 | | 10 comments

The mayor of London is putting the safety of motorcyclists at risk by failing to properly include them in his transport strategy, according to the Motorcycle Industry Association.

On 28 February, Sadiq Khan outlined his plans to improve transport in the Capital over the next 25 years – with the ambition for 80% of trips to be made by foot, cycle or public transport by 2041.

The strategy includes ‘record investment’ in rail, tube and bus services, an ‘unprecedented focus’ on walking and cycling, and a commitment to make London’s entire transport system zero-emission by 2050.

The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) is accusing Sadiq Khan of ignoring the benefits of using powered two wheelers (PTWs).

The MCIA says that in TfL’s ‘war on motorised transport’, it is lumping commuter motorcycles and scooters in with cars, taxis and construction traffic – despite the fact that PTWs significantly reduce congestion in the Capital, take up less road space and are far less damaging in terms of air quality.

Tony Campbell, CEO of the MCIA, said: “The mayor clearly has his own agenda around motorcycles and scooters, which was not made clear to the riders who elected him following his promise to champion their contribution to reducing London’s congestion.

“At a recent meeting with the MCIA, the mayor said that he agreed PTWs had an important part to play. In doing so he also agreed to review his transport strategy, taking into account the feedback he had received during the consultation period.

“Given this statement, it is more than disappointing that the mayor has decided to yet again ignore what is clear common sense for transport policy.

“The MCIA strongly urges the mayor to take another look at his plans to not only fulfil his pre-election commitment to riders and London’s voters, but also to honour his words at the recent meeting with (the motorcycle) industry.”

02 March 2018


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    I’d just like to say that doing this to motorbikes is going to make the situation worse for the poorest commuters. People who use their bikes for work because its what they can afford and enjoy. To quote from Motorcycling and Leisure

    “If motorcycling was made easier, safer and more convenient then more people may ride which would in turn reduce congestion as well as improving the environment (ACEM 2000). A Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) report that the riding of a PTW is a meaningful activity that improves the quality of life for millions of European citizens”.

    This being the case with proven statistics that motorcyclists ease congestion and emissions why are these people being penalised? I for one think its just about the money the government can make and not about emissions at all. Its big business and if you can’t afford a bike so new what happens everyone ends up on credit terms, never owning their own bike but continually paying back to the big businesses. Economics that’s all its about. Keep the rich rich and the poor poor.

    Libby Brunton, London
    Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

    To be honest, it’s about time the motorcycle manufacturers made a commitment to Zero emission two-wheelers. The technology is perfectly suited to scooters and bikes (shorter commutes, low maintenance, ability to easily charge from a domestic supply etc.). I have commuted on various bikes and scooters for years and I’d buy an electric scooter in a heartbeat if there was an option that was competitively priced. Don’t blame the Mayor of London, blame the manufacturers, fossil-fueled vehicles are in their final days why on earth would you build a 30-year transport strategy around them?

    Ben W, London
    Agree (1) | Disagree (6)

    Trevor, as you well know if it’s creating revenue then no one in any authority is going to change their mind and as a result is therefore not going to do anything about it. We will now see a number of other authorities looking at adopting the same strategy.

    Motorcycles were never ever going to be considered as sustainable transport even though in the decades before cars became king motorcycles and bicycles represented at least 70% of all transport. That was before the 1950’s and therefore many years before many of our present day politicians were born.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (1)

    As below, by the time ULEZ is introduced (2019) these bikes will be over 12 years old. By the time it is extended to the Northern Circular etc (2021)they will be over 14 years old. Effectively this is purely rhetoric. It would be interesting to know just how many people this will effect in 2/4 years time. More to the point – is this relevant to road safety?

    Elaine Hardy
    Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

    Back again to comment with this, from the industry and reaction from one of the rider groups my solution is that given the emphasis is on older bikes and lower engine size for the “cheap & cheerful method of individual transport” from 50cc to 125cc for the low paid workers is to exempt all these bikes from the charge. Or is that a compromise to far?

    Trevor Baird
    Agree (3) | Disagree (1)

    Why the surprise in a politician going back on their fained interest in PTW users? All this gentleman cared about was votes.

    He will ignore you until it’s time to vote again & the same old ‘Central to our transport strategy’ will be ‘wheeled out’ & the motorcycle owners will fall for the same old tripe!

    As for Elaine Hardy’s proposing a scrappage scheme? Firstly. Most PTW users do so as a cheap & cheerful method of individual transport. Having to spend upwards of £4K (for a 50cc or 125cc moped) when you may be in a low paid job, or a student, it just isn’t economically possible to consider changing up to the latest EU emission compliant bike / scooter, to meet an impractical (and let’s be honest here, and at the risk of upsetting the tree huggers, unacheivable air quality target). All the £12.50 per day levey will do is enrich the council coffers, and increase subsidies on fume spewing buses… 2 Wheeled users will find themselves sold down the river once more.

    Surely by our imminent departure from the EU, the UK will have its own set of emission parameters, which our Tory Government will be keen to set out?

    Sandy Allan, Aberdeen
    Agree (3) | Disagree (3)

    Did you ever ask yourself why so many people ride old bikes to work? Because it is not safe enough to ride a new bike in London. Every day somebody can steal it from you. That’s why everybody rides old motorcycles to work!

    Razvan vasilas, Ilford
    Agree (21) | Disagree (3)

    How to shoot yourself in the foot. As the industry (Mr Campbell) is fully aware, the charge for motorcycles/scooters and mopeds refers to those manufactured prior to 2006/2007 – i.e. prior to Euro 3 – that’s an emissions standard. Since the introduction of emissions standards (up to Euro 3) there has been a 94% reduction of carbon monoxide, 50% of hydrocarbons and nitrogen.

    The other important factor is that by the time ULEZ is introduced (2019) these bikes will be over 12 years old. By the time it is extended to the Northern Circular etc (2021)they will be over 14 years old.

    Surely the industry should grasp this opportunity and introduce deals for motorcyclists to trade in their old bikes/scooters for newer models. A bit like a scrappage scheme. That way everybody body wins and the MCIA can do what they do best – count the cash…. from the trade ins.

    Elaine Hardy, Sainte Foy La Grande
    Agree (3) | Disagree (7)

    The MCIA press release seems to miss the latest issue that this is about. That is the charging of motorcycles £12.50 a day to travel in the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone – ULEZ in London. That is motorcycles post Euro 3 emissions 2006/2007. Maybe the industry is steering clear of an issue that relates directly to the motorcycles they build.

    Trevor Baird
    Agree (2) | Disagree (2)

    From what I have read elsewhere motorcycles are no longer being considered as part of the ‘Sustainable Transport Policy’ of the future and this by the DfT. So Bye Bye to the possibility that motorcycles will have a future in any way as part of futuristic transport consideration.

    Bob Craven
    Agree (5) | Disagree (1)

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