Like many insurance providers, U.K. motorcycle insurer BikeSure conducts routine surveys of its users to learn their opinions on relevant issues. Within the city of London, for example, the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) was launched in 2019, with planned expansion as of October 25, 2021. Ahead of that change, BikeSure conducted another survey to specifically find out how motorists feel about the upcoming change.
For those unfamiliar, as of August 25, 2021, London’s ULEZ currently covers central London. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, excluding Christmas Day. Vehicles traveling in the ULEZ must either meet ULEZ emissions standards or else pay a daily fee. That fee is £12.50 (about $17.16) for most vehicle types, including cars, vans, and motorcycles. Heavier vehicles, such as trucks over 3.5 tons or buses over 5 tons must pay a £100 (approximately $137.32) fee.
Of the motorists BikeSure surveyed, it’s worth noting that 77.8 percent of respondents said they approve of the ULEZ and its aims, no matter what impact it has on their lives. Furthermore, around 72.2 percent have considered changing vehicles because of ULEZ restrictions.
That’s a nice prospect, but how does it translate to the real world? So far, BikeSure says, only around 9.5 percent of those surveyed have actually made the change to alternative forms of transport. However, those who are considering making the shift are broken down as follows:
- 36.1 percent say they’re considering public transport
- 25.2 percent say they’re considering walking
- 20.1 percent say they’re considering low-emissions or electric vehicles
- 9.3 percent say they’re considering low-emission motorcycles, scooters, or mopeds
- 9.3 percent say they’re considering push bikes/bicycles.
Additionally, 73.4 percent of survey respondents said that ULEZ has accelerated their intentions to purchase an electric vehicle. It’s worth noting, however, that number comes with some important context. Of those 73.4 percent of respondents now considering electric vehicles, 27.2 offered a no-hedge “yes.” An additional 25.8 percent said they’d wait until an EV exists that suits their needs, and 20.4 percent said they’d happily switch once more affordable EVs are commonplace. Just 6.5 percent said they’d already planned to make the EV switch prior to ULEZ enforcement.
How will these attitudes change once the ULEZ expansion goes into place? Since BikeSure has been conducting these surveys every year for the past few years, it seems likely we’ll find out more in 2022.