By ALEX CORONA
MAYOR of London Sadiq Khan wants to fight the capital’s toxic air by bringing in a new pollution charge.
It’s called the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone and was originally due to come into effect in 2020.
But now it is being brought forward to 2019 to target polluting vehicles with a charge much like the congestion zone.
And, it turns out, in the Mayor’s eyes that includes any motorcycles made before 2007.
We Ride London are a new motorcycle protest group who aren’t going to take this sitting down.
They believe the new £12.50 charge is unfair and doesn’t take into consideration the effectiveness of bikes as transport.
Mike Butler, one of the founders, says: “Transport for London just aren’t looking at the statistics properly.
“Motorcycles contribute less than one per cent of pollution on London’s streets. If you take into account time spent stuck in traffic, it makes even less sense.”
Motorcyclists are being squeezed off the roads
For We Ride London, it’s the last straw in a long line of policy decisions that haven’t taken motorcycle and scooter riders into account.
Mike adds: “London’s motorcyclists are being squeezed off the roads. This policy will hit the lowest paid workers the hardest when many of them rely on older bikes for cheap and effective travel.”
Steve Bongo is one of those workers. He relies on his bike to get across London for his job as a music teacher at many different locations.
He says: “I use my bike to drop off and pick up my daughter from school. Then I’m off across London at least twice a day to get to work.
“Most of the places would need a bus, train and tube to get to, which just isn’t realistic and would cost a fortune.”
The public can have their say until December 18. We Ride London are campaigning on social media, posting photos of bikers wearing their helmets at work, and organising rides to raise awareness.
They want to open talks to get motorcycle and scooter riders a fair deal that keeps them safe on London streets.
lIf you want to get involved, head to facebook.com/weridelondon