Transport Minister promises not to “risk a one size fits all approach” when phasing out motorcycles that need longer to transition

Transport Minister promises not to “risk a one size fits all approach” when phasing out motorcycles that need longer to transition

Addressing the Motorcycle Industry Association’s (MCIA) annual conference in front of global manufacturers and senior industry representatives, Jesse Norman, the Minister for Transport Decarbonisation and Technology has this afternoon promised not to “risk a one size fits all approach” when phasing out motorcycles that need longer to transition. 

Despite emphasising the importance of cutting carbon emissions as a “great driver of change” and promising a response to the phase out consultation on new non zero emission L-Category vehicles “in due course”, the Minster promised to continue listening to industry.

Recognising L-Category vehicles’ environmental, congestion, and air quality benefits, the Minister went on to acknowledge the diversity of L-Category vehicles, with each one offering something different to the public and the economy, whether “touring down to Truro on a high-powered motorcycle or nipping round the streets of Nuneaton on a moped”.

Commenting on the Speech, Tony Campbell, CEO of MCIA, said:

“In this first of its kind MCIA annual conference, we’re delighted by the support shown by the Minister.

The Association and industry at large have made monumental strides in the last five years in getting our essential sector recognised as an instrumental form of transport, not only in helping realise the Government’s environmental ambitions, but its future of transport ambitions too. The conceiving and implementation of the joint Action Plan is a testament to the latter and our strong collaborative working relationship, both of which we will continue to deliver on in 2023.

We remain committed to working with the Government to ensure the most appropriate and fair approach is taken to transitioning our vehicles to zero emissions and in a way that is proportionate to vehicle size and emissions and that does not negatively impact out sector.”


Notes for Editors:

The MCIA is the industry body that represents the UK Motorcycle and wider L-Category sector, including motorcycles, tricycles, and quadricycles, typically emitting zero or low emissions.

For more information about the work of the MCIA, or to interview MCIA CEO, Tony Campbell, please contact Alfie Brierley, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, at 

Speech transcript:

Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP, Minister of State for Transport Decarbonisation and Technology:

Hello, I’m Jesse Norman and it is a fantastic pleasure to speak with you today. 

As is the way with these occasions, if I may, I would like to spend a bit of time just reflecting on the past, but also looking to the future. 
2022, I think we can all agree, was a year blighted by the inflationary pressures of the world economy in a bit of a spin, energy prices and an unjust war of aggression in Europe. 

It was marked by the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and the beginning of the great climb of European countries to recovery after the pandemic. 
Faced with these difficult conditions of economic growth, it was no mean feat to see the UK powered light vehicle market up 1.9% from 2021 and up more than 8% from 2019. And that made clear that there was a great appetite for L-Category vehicles and the need for us all to work together across industry and Government to make this year even more fruitful. 

But amidst the challenges of 2022, it’s also clear that we made a lot of progress. When you published your Action Plan in February, that really set the tempo for the year ahead. And in Government we share in that ambition to realise the full potential of zero emission powered light vehicles, to meet environmental goals, and to meet and build the transport eco systems of the future.

Now that is underscored not only by our desire to act, but also to learn. And the Government, as you will be aware, launched a feasibility study so that it could learn more about how the sector stimulates supply ahead of demand, how we can attract new players to the market, how we can boost investment and lower manufacturing costs and how we can provide new and exciting careers for those working in and around a newly sustainable industry.

Now of course that PLV Action Plan foreshadowed the Government’s own consultation on when to end the sale of new, non zero emission vehicles. And that, too, was in its own way a very important moment, setting out a practical vision for the future of zero emission powered light vehicles in the UK, but also reinforcing the need for continued engagement, for expertise, for the collaboration of the industry, in that process and across the board. That is what is going to make the L-Category eco-system, that wider eco-system, a fertile space for growth, and growth is our aim, as it is yours for 2023. 

We must build on the achievements of last year, we must push ahead with the roles of PLVs in a fast moving and always evolving transport system. Of course, that’s not only the evolution of ambition, but of necessity. I don’t need to tell you of the affect transport is having on our planet. 

But it’s also important to say that cutting carbon remains a great driver of change. And perhaps revolution is a more apt description than evolution. We need to think bigger and act more boldly. And I want to thank you all for the value you have added to the consultation on end dates. We will publish a full response in due course, but it’s clear to me now that with end of sale dates for non zero emission cars and vans already in place, we must match that ambition across L-Category vehicles. And that will open us up to a future where our roads are, if we play it right, less congested, offering not only tangible carbon cutting but a reduction in air and noise pollution, and an increase in the wellbeing of everyone. A future where motorbikes like Maeving’s are a symbol as quintessentially British as the morning milk float or the MCC.  

Of course, we know some vehicles may need longer to make that transition than others. This is a Government that is trying to listen. And we are not going to risk a one size fits all approach. We know that the diversity of vehicles in our system each offer something different to the public and the economy, whether that’s touring down to Truro on a high-powered motorcycle or nipping round the streets of Nuneaton on a moped. From leisure journeys to last mile deliveries. So, for each of them we’re determined to try and secure the regulatory solution of best fit and, underpinning all of that, is our desire to place convenience at the heart of riding a zero emission powered light vehicle. 

Of course, that entails a process of designing roads that incentivises their use and building the charging infrastructure that bolsters that viability, and we will do that as well. 

In Government, our vision is designed to prime this sector, with you, ahead of decarbonisation. To support that move to clean, efficient, zero emission powered light vehicles, and to help the sector to take every opportunity it can to increase the role and the profile off motorcycling across our transport system. 

So let me conclude by thanking you and saying this. This sector has faced down many challenges over the years and I know that the end of sales dates are going to be another stretching goal, another challenge. But challenge itself is an enabler for great British innovation and always has been. And you are the innovators. 

So, let’s keep working together to grow this industry and to make 2023 a year of greater appetite and even greater success. 

Thank you very much indeed.