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Transport for London (TfL) says air pollution is one of the most significant challenges the city faces, and it’s affecting the population’s health. Studies have shown that transport is among the biggest source of emissions.
The capital already has a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in force to try and tackle the problem. It means heavy vehicles, vans and minibuses that don’t fall within certain emission standards must pay a daily charge of up to £200 to drive through the city.
And the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is keen to take this a step further in an attempt to improve the air quality – and has brought forwards the official start date of the ULEZ scheme.
It is set to replace the current T-Charge and will be in addition to the current Congestion Charge and the LEZ requirements.
So if you’re a keen motorcyclist in the city, here are some points that you’ll need to be aware of.
The ULEZ will apply to motorcycles, scooters and mopeds.
Motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles (L category) will have to meet Euro 3 standards to enter the ULEZ.
Owners are being advised to double check the make and model of their bikes – because there will be a charge to ride through the capital if it doesn’t meet the required standards.
If your bike doesn’t meet Euro 3 standards, there will be a £12.50 charge per day.
It is possible to enter the vehicle registration details in this online tool to check. But generally speaking, the charge will apply for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quads registered before 1st July 2007.
And if you do ride through the ULEZ, you’ll be fined £130. This will be reduced to £65 if paid in 14 days – and will be in addition to other Low Emission Zone or Congestion Charge penalties as well.
The ULEZ will apply around the clock within the Congestion Charge Zone area.
It will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week within the same area of the current Congestion Charge Zone. It will come into force on 8th April 2019.
Those who live in the ULEZ will be granted a 100% discount for a limited time to allow time to change their vehicle so it meets the appropriate standards. For the time being, historic vehicles are also exempt from the scheme.
A consultation is underway to further expand the ULEZ area
TfL has now opened a public consultation on proposals for two further schemes to improve the capital’s air.
One of them involves expanding the ULEZ for light vehicles – including motorcycles, scooters and mopeds – from central London to inner London up to, but not including, the North and South Circular roads in 2021. It would mean all vehicles in this area will be subject to emissions standards.
The consultation closes on 28th February 2018.
Other cities across Europe also have their own emission zone schemes
If you plan on travelling across Europe, it is best to look up your route and check whether you will be driving through any LEZ or ULEZs. Definitely be aware if you’re going to Paris or driving through Italy.
Under the Crit-Air scheme in Paris, all vehicles entering the city now have to display a sticker stating how much they pollute. Failure to do this will result in a fine. From 1st January 2018, Amsterdam is completely banning scooters built before 1st January 2011.
Further information about the London ULEZ is available on the TfL website.