Could motorbikes be banned from London?

Published by Gill | 10 Comments

The Mayor Of London Boris Johnson has announced a ultra low emissions scheme that could mean motorcycles are banned from Central London

The Mayor of London has announced his intention to create the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London, in a move that he believes will deliver dramatic benefits in air quality and provide a major spur for the further development and mass take-up of zero and low emission vehicles.

While the Mayor hasn’t detailed any specifics regarding motorcycles, it is clear that the scheme could have a profound effect on riding in the capital.

The BMF’s Government Relations Executive, Chris Hodder, commented on the announcement: “This policy could have far-reaching consequences for motorcycling in London – if London helps promote electric and alternative fuelled motorcycles, then this could be a boon for motorcyclists; however, it could easily mean that older and current motorcycles could be banned as well.

He added: “Motorcycles are by far and away the best way to get around central London and do not contribute to congestion, so we will work hard to make sure that riding a motorcycle remains an option for those wishing to use the streets of our capital city.”

The Mayor has asked Transport for London to prepare plans to look at introducing a scheme that would aim to ensure all vehicles driving in the centre of the capital during working hours would be zero or low emission, and the feasibility of introducing such a scheme from 2020.

Transport for London will begin work on preparing options for a public consultation on an ultra low emission zone. By 2020 he hopes that time all central London buses will be hybrid and zero emission taxis will be prevalent. The Mayor recognises that more work is required and believes his proposal will act as a challenge for vehicle manufacturers to ensure more affordable and low emission technologies are in place.

The Mayor’s new package of measures includes: Extra hybrid buses, New Euro Standard 6 buses, Measures to clean up construction sites, a new zero emission taxi and more energy efficiency measures to be encouraged in homes, schools and public buildings.

Click here to read the full press release from the Mayor

  • Chris Puttick

    A failure to recognise that those travelling into London from outside do well to choose motorcycles as an option, and that there are no current zero emission motorcycles suited to this (range issues). Further it fails to recognise that motorcycles contribute to reduced emissions by reducing congestion throughout busy urban errors (not just central London) and last but not least reduced congestion has other benefits beyond environmental.

  • Tom

    So by the sounds of it Boris wants more of his Boris bikes which are already a nuance, It seems that he has an idea then goes with it with out looking if its actually doable. As for banning motorbikes from central London, This is a joke right? its the same with the taxi issue, Surely its more efficient to keep vehicles on the road then to scrap them and build new ones, on top of that electric motorcycles are still quite rare, I see this upsetting a load of people. As for zero emission taxi’s?? last year Boris decided that all black cabs could only be used for a maximum of 15 years, meaning that the classic iconic taxi will vanish and be replaced with the new more rounded one, to make matters worse, they are no longer making the new TX4 as they are now in administration, so last time I checked the only taxi option available to you is a van based taxi. so considering any taxi thats been manufactured from 2005 (as thats the oldest taxi thats plated in 2020) wont be zero emission’s and likey not to have been paid off due high cost of ownership, Boris is just sh*ting all over London all over again!!

  • Paul Cave

    Approach calmly, people. See this sentence: “Transport for London will begin work on preparing options for a public consultation on an ultra low emission zone.” This is by no means a done deal it’s being looked at. Input will be welcomed from all interested parties.

  • Rusty

    Well he’s forcing us into cars so he can charge us the congestion charge as we all know public transport won’t improve. Also will there be safe parking for bikes I doubt it as there isn’t a lot in car parks now !! Just another money making scheme penalising us as usual.Telling us it’s about emissions so it looks like it’s for the greater good ! Well a few bikes being ridden to work rather than heavy using cars vans buses and lorries go figure even a child could work out a bike makes less emissions than any of them ! Oh well he will probably get his own way and more bikes will be stolen because of it !

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  • Nut Magnet

    Where did all the additional “Green Fuel Duty” that was added to fuel go…?? It was supposed to go to public transport but it appears it never arrived.. did they send it by train…

    Zero bikes are possible in fact a zero superbike bike was built in 2009 that could do 0-60 in 3 secs, 160mph… it had a range of 70 miles scratching around the track and 150 miles urban. Re-charge was 2 hours mains or 12 hours solar. The technology is out there but none of the manufacturers will touch it..

  • Elaine

    Oh Good Grief! Paul (Cave) are you the only sane person here? It’s a proposal for Chissake! Why do people do this? Boris has a responsibility to make London a clean city all considered. Where does it say anything about banning bikes? Is it more the case that the BMF are aiming to scaremonger like the “other” motorcycle organisation in the UK? It won’t increase you membership – really! Think about it folks – by the time the London Council does a consultation, sits down and works out the practicalities, it’s likely we’ll all be dead or retired and Boris will be telling jokes in Benidorm.

  • Chris Hodder

    Hi Elaine, it is quite a strong headline, but if TfL staff are working on a scheme to make central London an emission free zone then active lobbying will be required to ensure motorcycles are not collateral damage. We would be less concerned if motorcycles (and particularly two strokes) hadn’t been banned in various places around the world for “air quality” reasons. Air pollution as measured by the EU is so bad in London that drastic measures are required so we need to be cautious.

    And no, I don’t expect dramatic headlines will get us thousands of new members – it never has before!

    • Elaine

      Hi Chris, Oh good! I’m glad you’re not falling into the “let’s scare the shit out of bikers and they’ll come to us in droves…”, trust me – it doesn’t work – if anything numbers tend to decrease….. You of all people are fully aware of the latest edict from Europe in relation to emissions which also includes by default, two strokes. In conversation with AP (from EU motorcycle industry) he suggests that there is a very real possibility that two strokes will either have to become cleaner or disappear. But you can’t have it both ways. Do we want cleaner cities? Do we care?

      It’s a balance, but as I understand it, by the time any changes are made, cleaner bikes will be available – that was the main purpose of the “Type Approval” regulations.. no? I appreciate that a lot of the people in TfL are anal and pompous, but Boris has a job to do and reading some of the environmental stuff that’s coming out of Europe, he’s probably one of the more forward thinking.

  • Niel F

    Given that the Italians have banned any vehicle over 25 years old from a number of city’s, and much newer in some, I doubt TFL will hesitate to use such sweeping tactics. The farce so far has meant charities have had to dispose of perfectly usable minibuses, because no-one makes an exhaust filter kit to fit them for a reasonable cost. Camper van owners likewise have suffered, my Land-Rover is already banned, even though it’s cleaner than ‘cars’ which are not. I am under no illusion, TFL still acts as if Red Ken is in charge, Boris is no fool, forget the bumbling image he uses, he’ll let TFL carry the can if it goes tits-up, and TFL is very anti ‘personal’ motorised transport, unless they can charge heavily for using road’s WE already pay for!