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Motorcycles Free in Cambridge

The Greater Cambridge Partnership has backpedalled on plans to charge bikers £5 for entering a planned low emission zone in the city centre. The plan, which was under consultation for introduction in 2027/28, originally proposed to charge cars and bikes the same flat fee to ride/drive through the city.

This comes as welcome news to the motorcycle community, and puts Cambridge in line with most cities in England, Wales and Scotland, which do not (or do not plan to) charge bikes and scooters for entering urban low emission zones. London’s ULEZ is the outlier, charging any non-historic bikes which do not meet Euro 3 standards.

Cambridge was clearly having second thoughts on its own ULEZ, watering down the original proposals to the benefit of private transport. As well as bikes going free, cars will now only be charged at peak times, drivers will have 50 free days per year and there will be a 50% discount for local small businesses.

BMF Chair Jim Freeman welcomed the news: “Yes indeed. Cities and large towns, like lemmings, have rushed into the ULEZ quagmire, often without considering the economic effects sufficiently. Oxford, for example, with its obsession with the Park n Ride solution, in place for many years now, has to have been a major boost to Amazon. If you want to keep the local high streets in business, you have to let people go to them without making them feel ripped off and treated like idiots. Every time someone thinks, ‘its like they don’t want my business?’ , in 2023 they’re gone, lining Jeff Bezos’s pockets. ”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Note: This news came through after the Autumn 2023 issue of BMF magazine Motorcycle RIDER went to press. In a feature on ULEZ, we stated that Cambridge could be charging bikes £5, but this information has now been overtaken by events.

Top image courtesy of Yang Hsu – Unsplash