London – Launching a survey to look carefully at – Who Rides London?
When a suggested charge of £12.50 per day for older (than the Euro 3 standard) motorcycles/scooters/mopeds traveling in a proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London, followed by a consultation regarding this daily charge, surfaced about a year ago, the motorcycling community started raising concerns and has been in turmoil since then, regarding this proposed ULEZ charge in London.
Some rider groups have suggested that the majority of the owners of these “older” motorcycles/scooters cannot afford newer models and will be forced to use public transport.
Others point out that whatever the rider’s circumstances are, the charges are discriminatory, unfair and unwarranted.
The motorcycling community has pointed out that these charges should not be introduced for a mode of transport that has the benefits of reducing congestion and which in terms of pollution, has a very small impact, especially compared to other private and public forms of transport.
It is now time to revisit the status of London riders and to look carefully at Who Rides London. The survey Who Rides London? aims to identify motorcycle, scooter and moped riders who typically commute to work or study in London, to determine the typical riders’ profile and the type of bikes/scooters/mopeds travelling in these areas.
The results will hopefully offer riders the opportunity to put forward a case for continued access to all areas in London for all powered two wheelers (PTWs) and to highlight the importance that this form of transport offers.
It is important for riders to understand a few basic facts – which are:
- There were 125,200 motorcycles, scooters and mopeds registered in London in 2016 Motorcycle statistics tables, produced by Department for Transport, with an estimated 55,000 riding every day, which suggests that there is a very important place for motorised two wheeled transport in London.
- As recognised by Transport for London in a report published in March, 2016. Easy rider – Improving motorcycle safety on London’s roads
- In that respect, a paper by MAG UK, published in 2005 but still very relevant today, highlights the benefits of Powered Two Wheelers in Local Transport Plans. Powered Two Wheelers and Local Transport Plans – Ideas for inclusion by the Motorcycle Action Group
- The charges refer to motorcycles, scooters and mopeds which are older than the Euro 3 standard (2006/2007), the reason is that motorcycles older than this standard, pollute considerably in comparison. According to ACEM (the European Motorcycle Manufacturers’ Association), there has been a 94% reduction of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions, and a 50 % reduction of nitrogen emissions since the introduction of Euro standards in 1999. See here for more details: Riding in a 21st century environment – The motorcycle industry’s commitment to the environment
- The introduction of the ULEZ zones is not just in London, in fact these zones are being, or have been introduced in major capital cities throughout Europe, indeed, hundreds of European cities already have vehicle entry regulations, depending on vehicle emission standards, payment or vehicle type. Some cities ban certain vehicles, others allow entry of vehicles in LEZs during certain periods during the day/night, while others such as London, charge. For more details see here: urbanaccessregulations.eu
- The last study to profile the typical London rider was done by Transport for London through the University of Leeds back in 2004. The study using postcode data, was divided into 112 motorcyclists who resided in Greater London and 867 who lived elsewhere. The data suggested that London motorcyclists are more likely to be younger and single, with full-time jobs earning a higher income. They are more likely to own machines under 250cc, compared to the rest of the sample, and much more likely to own scooters. See here: Differences Between London Motorcyclists And Those From The Rest Of The UK That study is now 14 years old and times change. Also the sample size was limited to only 112 riders.
This study is being carried out by Dr Elaine Hardy, an independent research analyst with considerable experience of motorcycle related research topics, as well as joint contributor to the motorcycle blog Motorcycle Minds. She has no affiliation to any rider group or organisation or authority.
Any results will be based on the evidence provided by riders in the survey and will be published online, on Twitter and Facebook for all to access.
The survey analysis has been published.