The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has received a belated response from Transport for London following two formal letters to Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Following a review of the response, MAG continues to press for greater clarity and common sense to be applied.
MAG wrote formally to Sadiq Khan in March, ahead of the 8th April launch of the Mayor’s ULEZ. The initial letter requested a delay to Implementation of charges for Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs). There was no formal response.
MAG wrote again on 25th April calling for a suspension of charges. A response was finally received from Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at TfL dated 22nd May 2019. The six page letter concludes by stating “We cannot therefore meet your request that motorcycles be exempt from ULEZ charges.” Going on to say “I trust this answers all of your queries and I look forward to working with you to prepare motorcyclists for the expansion of the ULEZ in October 2021”.
Selina commented “Whilst the letter was lengthy it carried no real substance, and failed to address the issues that we raised in a meaningful way. A further round of virtue signalling and dismissive attitude fails to come close to acceptability in the eyes of our membership.”
MAG has therefore responded to Mr Williams with an eight page letter crammed full with hard facts and analysis of the weak comments made in Williams’ letter.
MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, commented: ‘To me it is self-evident that decisions are being made by TfL that simply cannot be defended. The revelations about the COPERT modelling flaws even lead to a comment from Williams that it was MAG that was mistaken on the issue of degradation factors. This demonstrates that Mr Williams has not even looked at the model data that TfL claim to evidence motorcycle emissions.
Indeed my ongoing communications with EMISIA, the company that designed the modelling software, has revealed that they “could not locate the original study where the NO2 emissions originated from.” For TfL to claim this modelling data as evidence is laughable.’
MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, said: 'If TfL and the Mayor think this issue will simply go away, they are very much mistaken. We hope that Client Earth and others are following this case with interest. If they are not, they should be. Sadiq and his team are actively attacking proposals and policies that would accelerate the reduction of NO2 on the streets of London. This simply does not fit with the claim that he is leading the way on reducing emissions in the shortest time possible. The only thing his “hard hitting” policy is hitting, is the pockets of the very Londoners he claims to work for. He is letting NO2 off the hook.’
In response to Alex Williams closing remark, the letter from MAG concludes: “The Motorcycle Action Group looks forward to working with TfL to achieve the correct outcome of exemption for all motorcycles from the expansion of ULEZ in October 2021, allied with a policy to positively promote modal shift from single-occupancy cars to motorcycles.”
Notes to editors
MAG’s initial letter to Sadiq Khan was dated 1st March 2019. A full copy of this letter can be found here:
MAG’s second letter to Sadiq Khan was dated 26th April 2019. A full copy of this letter can be found here:
A full copy of MAG’s latest letter to Alex Williams (cc Sadiq Khan), dated 6th June 2019 can be found here:
TfL cite the COPERT modelling data used by the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory as emissions evidence to justify the charge for pre-Euro3 motorcycles.
This data can be found here: http://naei.beis.gov.uk/data/ef-transport
The ULEZ emissions standard for NOx set by TfL for motorcycles is 0.15g/km
MAG has pointed out that the COPERT data is a modelling system that has not been verified by real-world emissions tests.
MAG has pointed out that the company responsible for the modelling software has confirmed that the data does not allow for the benefit of motorcycles filtering past congested traffic.
MAG has pointed out that the COPERT data still places many categories of pre-Euro3 bikes at emissions levels that are well below the 0.15g/km standard set out by TfL.
The Motorcycle Action Group Limited Tel: 01926 844064 Fax: 01926 844065 www.mag-uk.org