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Motorcycling Has Green Credentials Too!!

July 1, 2009
Scooter Commuters - Scooter Parking in London

Scooter Commuters - Scooter Parking in London

Coningsby, England – There appears to be a lot of disinformation circulating relating to motorcycle and scooter emissions. Indeed it is alleged that information gleaned from a discredited 15 year old report from a Californian University has been passed to Westminster City Councillors in an attempt to discredit the No To Bike Parking Fees Campaign and by default the motorcycle community in London.

Now let’s think about this in practical terms. Due to the introduction of EU Directives motorcycles and scooters are fast becoming amongst the least polluting of vehicles. Indeed if we look at the high end bikes, BMW 1200 RT, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compare favourably with the latest low emission petrol engine cars. The RT will return over 65 mpg with CO2 at 112 g/km. The Toyota Prius currently on sale in the UK, according to DfT figures, returns 72mpg and 104g/km CO2.

Scooters of course perform better in CO2 emission terms. Most small 4 – stroke engined scooters will do well over 100mpg in fact 120mpg is obtained on some models. As the amount of pollutants generated by a gallon of petrol is finite it’s obvious that the better the mpg the lower the CO2 emissions are in relation to the distance covered. I turned up some interesting figures the other day, Toyota Prius MKII 120g/km CO2 Piaggio Vespa GT200 scooter 72g/km CO2 add in the fact that scooters along with motorcycles can help ease traffic congestion, minimize materials used in manufacturing and are fun to use then it just seems utter madness that Councils like Westminster do not better facilitate there use.

Talking about green credentials I notice that in the UK Governments latest document ‘Building Britain’s Future’ released on Monday 29 June, is it a manifesto or a policy I wonder, a commitment is made to publish a ‘National Cycle Plan’ to ‘promote cycling as a mainstream form of personal transport’.

OK fine I’ve no issues with cycling. However the fact that the UK Government gives the self regulating QANGO Cycle England £140 million a year to promote cycling is a little worrying. As is the fact that 90% of the cycles sold in the UK are made outside the EU. To be exact 3.5 million bicycles were imported into the UK in 2007 with just 80,000 made here. Now as the majority of these imports are made in China it would be interesting to know the ‘carbon foot print’ of said bicycles at UK point of sale. It would also appear that the UK taxpayer is paying to promote a product most of which is not made here. So arguably we are paying to export our jobs or at least EU jobs by promoting cycling in the first place.

© Back Roads Rider 2009

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