Is My Bike Affected by London Emissions Charges?

If you live or commute into London, you will undoubtedly have heard about a raft of emission charges, toxicity charges or ultra low emission zone charges being banded about to tackle pollution. With so many charges, consultations and plans a foot it’s tough to get a grip of what the hell is actually coming into affect and how it’ll affect you and your bike.

Pollution is pretty bad in London, but motorcycles should definitely be considered as part of the solution. Bikes rarely, if ever sit still in traffic jams and have much shorter journey times and thus pollute less. Recent TFL consultations even concluded bikes contribute less than 1% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. So read on to learn how to avoid the charges and keep biking.

Congestion Charge
This one has been around for a few years, but all motorcycle are exempt (except some larger 3-wheelers over 2m long). It covers the zone shown in map below. Not new news, but many new charges cover the same area.
congestion-charge-zone-map

T-Charge / ES-Charge

The Emission Surcharge (ES-Charge) or as previously labelled the Toxicity Charge, has just been approved by Sadiq Khan and will come into force on the 23rd October 2017. The key details:

  • Covers congestion charge zone (above)
  • Operates Mon-Fri 7am-6pm
  • £10 a day (in addition to £11.50 congestion charge)
  • Affects any car, van not euro 4 compliant

Thankfully all motorcycles are exempt from this charge.

Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

This ULEZ is a future charge that has confirmed plans that do affect motorcycle. But is also under much debate so could change.

Currently confirmed:

  • Now confirmed: 8th April 2019
  • Covers congestion charge zone (above)
  • Operates 24-7
  • £12.50 per day
  • Affects any non-Euro 3 motorcycle registered before 1st July 2007

Currently being proposed, but not as yet confirmed:

  • Extending charge area boundaries to North/South Circulars in 2021 (see TFL site)

Note: electric and historic tax class bikes are exempt from the ULEZ charge. If your bike is Euro 3 compliant and registered before July 2007 you can apparently register it’s exemption with TFL, however it is not yet clear how this will work.

Watch this space for news and developments on the ULEZ, as this affects bikers most directly and could potentially many more if things change. Especially those with cheap old commuter hacks.

So there you have it, for the short term you can keep on biking unaffected. But by April 2019 you’ll need a ride newer than 2007. Of course, such a forced upgrade will devalue any pre-2007 significantly.

Author: Arthur

Seasoned London commuter, doing my best to stay rubber side down and never stop moving forward.

3 thoughts on “Is My Bike Affected by London Emissions Charges?”

  1. As always a thinly veiled government scheme to encourage people to depart with more of their hard earned cash and or get into more personal debt in dodgy finance purchase schemes when levels of personal debt are at unsustainable levels already….so every ten years folks get used to it we gotta all go out and buy a new vehicle that has required a serious amount of fossil fuel energy to produce no less…oh and don’t forget we are all still living longer so the health issues don’t stack up either, anyone get the feeling we are being lead by the nose….? It’s all just naked consumerism..dressed up as virtuous claptrap

  2. Im wondering how this all fairs as the new ULEZ VRM Checker shows my 2004 bmw r1150rt as exempt as are a lot of other 2002-2005 rt,s , anyone clarify?

    1. I also checked my 2005 Honda cbf600 and the checker says ‘You are not subject to the ULEZ’. Anybody got any suggestions on whether this means I’m safe from stupid charges after April 2019?

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