London could see twice as many motorcycles once the ULEZ is introduced

Bikesure surveyed 1,000 Londoners to find out if their households have made any changes in response to the new regulations being introduced for the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ).

Here are the key findings:

  • Bikesure found 82.1% of Londoners have changed or have thought about changing their transport in preparation for the Ultra Low Emission Zone, which is being introduced to the capital next week.
  • The zone will cover the City of London as part of ongoing measures to improve air quality in the capital. Vehicles driving within the zone must meet tighter exhaust emissions standards.
  • The city will see a 141% increase in the use of motorcycles (mopeds, scooters and motorcycles) travelling through the ULEZ as residents opt for low-emission models.
  • The survey also reveals 31% of Londoners will not be able to afford to drive or ride their own vehicle within the new ULEZ, which is set to expand further to the North and South Circular Roads in October 2021.
  • While 44.6% of Londoners feel ‘frustrated’ by the ULEZ; 47% of those surveyed are happy with the new measures being introduced.


Bikesure ULEZ Survey 2020 – One year on

What is the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London?

Similar to the Congestion Charge, vehicles driving through the designated Ultra Low Emissions Zone will soon need to meet new, tighter exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge. It is being introduced on April, 8 2019.


Ultra Low Emission Zone area

  • You will not have to pay if your vehicle meets the minimum emission standards (Petrol: Euro 4 / Diesel Euro 6).
  • You will have to pay a daily charge of £12.50 or risk a fine of £160 if your vehicle fails to meet the emission standards.

Check if your vehicle meets the regulations here…

The ULEZ is set to expand to the North and South Circular Roads in 2021.

Why did Bikesure carry out the survey?

Whenever we post anything about the ULEZ on the Bikesure blog and social media channels, there has been a mixed response.

Some of our community is in favour of these new measures to improve the environmental impact, others feel it’s another opportunity to add yet another charge on hardworking people.

So we wanted to know what Londoners really think of the changes. These are the people who have to live with the current air quality every day and will be affected by the new ULEZ.

Have they changed vehicle due to the ULEZ? How will the ULEZ affect them? What mode of transport will they be using? And how do they feel about the new scheme?

Download the full results as a dataset. Bikesure ULEZ Survey Final Data.

82.1% of Londoners have, or are thinking about, changing their vehicle

ULEZ has encouraged Londoners to make changes to their transport

Around eight in 10 Londoners have changed their transport, or are thinking about changing their transport. In fact, more than a third (36.6%) have already changed their vehicle ahead of the ULEZ being introduced to the capital. The majority were already driving a car, van or riding a motorcycle.

Out of the motorcycle owners, 55.6% surveyed have already changed their mode of transport and 33.3% are thinking about changing it. So overall, 88% of motorcyclists surveyed have been impacted by the ULEZ already.

In comparison, only 25.6% of surveyed car owners said they had already switched vehicle. Yet, the figures of those thinking about switching are the same for motorcycle owners as car owners (33%).

We also found that those surveyed who are living very centrally – within the City of London – are more prepared to give up their vehicle or motorcycle.

The switch to low-emissions motorbikes, scooters and mopeds seems to be happening…

Almost 45% of respondents will be using public transport

Respondents were asked what kind of transport they currently own in their household, and what mode of transport they are most likely to use for the ULEZ. Almost 44.9% have opted to now use public transport.

While only 1% said they owned a moped or scooter and 2.7% own a motorcycle, it seems Londoners are open to investing in a low-emissions model.

In fact, the survey showed there has been a 141% increase in mopeds, scooters and motorcycles purchased ahead of the ULEZ with many residents opting for low-emission models.

Many residents are opting for low-emission mopeds, scooters and motorcycles

Breaking this down separately, there was an increase of 400% for low-emission mopeds and scooters, and 37% for low-emission motorcycles.

Unlike the Congestion Charge Zone, which was launched in 2003, motorcyclists are not exempt from the ULEZ rules. These depend on the emissions of the vehicle, rather than the vehicle type.

So it isn’t surprising that people are considering a change to a low-emissions motorcycle.

More models are being released onto the market, and options for Londoners are growing, and their price tags are gradually coming down.

Discover the latest range of electric motorbikes and electric mopeds and scooters available on the market.

Meanwhile, only 13.9% of respondents are considering a low-emissions car or van….

The majority of households surveyed were car owners

While the moped, scooter and motorcycle communities are more open to low-emissions versions – car owners aren’t necessarily taking the plunge just yet.

A high proportion of respondents (87.9%) said that their household owns a car.

A low-emission car or van is only being considered by 13.9% of respondents due to the ULEZ. This could be due to affordability, preference or access to other modes of transport in the capital.

As mentioned above, public transport was the most popular response (44.9%) followed by opting to walk around London (14.7%).

Almost one third of Londoners cannot afford to ride or drive in the ULEZ

Almost a third said they won’t be able to afford to drive / ride in the ULEZ

We asked our respondents how the ULEZ will affect them – and 31.1% told us they will no longer be able to afford to drive or ride through the zone.

The most affected age group was 25-34-year-olds.

Meanwhile, 32.5% will drive in the ULEZ less than they used to and 29.4% explained it will not make a difference when it is introduced on April 8, 2019. The answer ‘I do not know how it will affect me’ was selected by 7.1% of respondents.

Camden residents made up almost 1.9% of the people surveyed. Out of those, 68.8% say they won’t be able to afford to drive or ride in the ULEZ.

It could be that this is due to the borough’s location within the city. Camden sits largely outside the Congestion Charge Zone, but will fall within the ULEZ when the area extends in 2021. So it’s likely these residents continue to rely on driving a vehicle as they have been exempt from other charges.

In addition to this, 63.2% of Camden residents in the survey said they drive or ride within the ULEZ at least once a week – higher than the average calculated for all Londoners surveyed.

Almost half of Londoners welcome the ULEZ

The views of Londoners towards the ULEZ

The reasons behind the ULEZ are clear: to improve air quality in the capital.

And almost half (47%) of Londoners feel ‘it is a good idea’ and ‘don’t mind it being brought in’. Meanwhile, in the same set of responses, 44.6% selected: “I can understand the reasons, but I can’t help but feel frustrated by it.”

Even though 82.1% have either changed or are thinking of changing their vehicle as a direct result of the scheme, it seems those surveyed understand measures needed to be introduced. These figures are also greater than the percentage of respondents who can’t afford to drive or ride in the ULEZ any more. (See above).

Only 7.8% of those surveyed felt the ULEZ was a ‘bad idea’. So while it will have a big impact on residents, there is clear support for its introduction.

Older generations seem unsure about the ULEZ

Those who responded to our survey aged 55 or above said they didn’t know how the ULEZ would affect them. At 17.2%, this was more than any other age group.

This group also seems more sceptical of the ULEZ and think the zone is a bad idea. Yet, even so, their age group was more open to buying a low emissions car or van.


The ULEZ scheme is likely to have a big impact on those living in London. While those who live in the city are broadly positive about the initiative, they have recognised the need to reassess their transport options.

A spokesman for Bikesure said: “The results that have come through from the survey are quite interesting.

“Out of the 1,000 people surveyed, 82.1% have changed or thought about changing the way they travel around the city in preparation for the ULEZ. Moped and scooter riders have also been keen to switch to low-emissions versions, more so than other motorcyclists and car drivers.

“We could be seeing more low-emissions scooters, mopeds and motorcycles on the market. This could be a sign of changes happening in the industry as more, and cheaper electric and low-emission models are being introduced to the market.

“The next five to 10 years will be a very interesting time.”

Bikesure offers specialist insurance policies tailored to your needs. Learn more about our motorcycle insurance policies.

Read more links…

Bikesure ULEZ Survey 2020 – One year on

Exhaustive guide to no emission and low emission motorcycles




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