Ultra Low Emission Zones – is your scooter banned? | FEATURE
In January we brought you a story about European ULEZ – Ultra Low Emission Zones, as well as French Crit’Air rules and their forthcoming effects on scooter riders. Prompted by a reader’s email, we thought we’d better bring you an update because it is already starting to limit where we can ride our scooters and it’s going to get a whole lot worse. Limiting our travel options at home (if you’re reading this in the UK) and across Europe.
From 8th April 2019, London will be operating a ULEZ zone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week within the current congestion charging zone. Motorcycles and scooters will be included.
Motorcycles not meeting Euro 3 regulations (if your scooter was registered before 1st July 2007) will be charged at £12.50 per day to ride in London. Registered owners living within the ULEZ will be granted a 100% discount for a limited time to allow them time to replace their vehicle with a newer/lower emission vehicle. Good news though, in London historic vehicles are exempt (for the time being at least). Will this push up the price/desirability of classic scooters in London? We’ll have to wait and see…
You can get more information about ULEZ London here
Certain areas of France (Paris, Lyon, Grenoble and Lille) banned the use of scooters built before 2000 at peak times. That law came in on April 1st this year. To drive in the city you’ll need to apply for a Crit’Air vignette sticker (they cost €4.18) and upload a copy of your V5 to prove its eligibility. Not having a sticker could land you an on the spot fine of £58.63 and vehicles without a sticker will be banned from the road and motorway network between 6am-10pm.
More worryingly from November 1st 33 municipalities of Strasbourg became part of the scheme. Even the Mont Blanc Tunnel has banned the use of pre-Euro 3 vehicles and during times of high pollution, Euro 3 are banned as well. Vehicles (including foreign) are checked for compliance before being allowed to enter the tunnel.
What is Crit’Air?
It’s an air quality sticker for your vehicle, needed if driving into or parking in French low emission zones. There are 6 classes of Crit’Air sticker from the least polluting/zero emission electric/hydrogen vehicles to Crit’Air 5 for the most polluting. Scooters built before June 2000 won’t be eligible for a sticker, effectively banning the use of classic scooters in the city.
Where can I get a sticker?
There are already scam websites offering stickers at inflated prices, the official website is: Crit’Air
Moving the goalposts
Even though the French scheme only came into force on April 1st this year the restrictions have already been tightened. Before July 1st, vehicles with a Crit’Air 5 sticker could still drive in Paris during the week, whilst older, dirtier vehicles were banned Monday-Friday between 8am-8pm. The ban now includes Crit’Air 5 and further restrictions can be put in place if pollution is expected to be high.
From January 1st, 2018 the whole of the city of Amsterdam will ban scooters built before 01/01/2011. Rotterdam and Utrecht also have Low Emission Zones in place. 55 thousand scooter owners around the municipality of Amsterdam were recently sent letters to warn them about the new rules.
During the first five months of 2018 riders of older scooters will receive a warning if they’re caught in the city for the first time, after that they’ll be hit with a 90 Euro fine.
In a press release, sustainability minister, Abduleheb Choho said “We are doing everything we can to make the air in Amsterdam cleaner”, “That includes unpleasant measures, such as an environmental zone. By carefully warning everyone with a too dirty scooter well in advance, we ensure that the introduction of this environmental zone goes as reasonably as possible.”
Urban Access Regulations
There’s one thing for sure, travelling on older (even though we still consider them to be modern) four-stroke scooters and classic machines is going to get a whole lot harder, year by year as new restrictions are put in place.
Thanks to: Bill Van Kesteren for additional info and photos
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