22-02-2018 Khan’s bike tax will charge poorest workers £12.50 a day for ‘privilege of emptying his bin

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is challenging the Mayor of London with three clear questions regarding ‘extraordinary and discriminatory claims about motorcycling in London.’

MAG has challenged London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to justify ‘some of the biggest transport contradictions in London’s history’ – following what they feel is a ‘discriminatory’ plan to charge motorcyclists for using the eco-friendly option of powered two wheelers (PTWs).

London’s Regional Rep, Tim Fawthrop, called Khan’s comments about motorcycles in a letter to Conservative MP (now Minister) Kelly Tolhurst ‘extraordinary and discriminatory.’  Tim says ‘in his reply to Ms Tolhurst, Mayor Khan states that charging users of older bikes £12.50 a day will – and I’m quoting his words directly here – deter the use of older vehicles, including those with highly polluting two-stroke engines.  Doesn’t he realise that these bikes often do more than 120 miles per gallon, and produce far fewer emissions than many exempt vehicles?  He doesn’t offer a single data source for his claims yet the poorest workers in London who depend on older motorcycles to get to, say, City Hall to clean his office, and whose commute currently costs about £1.20 a day, will pay an extra £12.50 every day to him and his authority – for the privilege of emptying his bin.  That’s not just wrong, it’s disgusting.  So, I’ve got three questions for him:

1       Why are riders of older, small-capacity bikes being charged when other forms of transport, e.g. taxis, which produce considerably higher emissions with a single occupant, aren’t?  We’re not asking for taxis to be charged – only for a level playing field.

2       Why does the Mayor want to force riders onto a public transport system that will expose them to up to eight times more particulate matter, according to publicly available research, than using private transport such as a motorbike, when the whole purpose of the change is meant to be environmental and health related?

3       Will Khan compensate the thousands of low-paid workers using small, older motorbikes because it’s all they can afford, and what scheme will he be setting up to pay the difference in cost between cheap, older bikes and expensive public transport?

If he can’t answer these questions satisfactorily, he’ll be proving that
this tax on older bikes is discriminatory and a social in justice that could seal his political fate at the next Mayoral election.  MAG is asking all riders to contact the Mayor and ask these three questions. Please also contact your MP to challenge Mr Khan.  The lack of understanding about basic transport theory in which motorcycles, regardless of age or size, reduce net congestion and pollution, is something which should concern all London citizens, not just bikers.’

MAG urgently requests you to make your views known before 28th February 2018 online, at: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/environment/air-quality-consultation-phase-3b/?cid=airquality-consultation

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

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