Could motorcycles help solve traffic congestion?

Aug 07 | 2023

New research commissioned by the UK’s leading road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, shows that the public are divided about the benefits of motorcycling in improving air quality and traffic flow, leading the charity to raise awareness about the potential motorcycles have in easing congestion and reducing emissions.

Could motorcycles help solve traffic congestion?

The charity surveyed over 2,000 motorists, with just one-in-five (22%) of respondents stating that motorcycles improve air quality, although motorcycles actually produce less than half the emissions of cars, or even less in some cases.

Meanwhile, less than half (42%) of those surveyed recognised that motorcycles help reduce traffic congestion. This shows that the majority were unaware of the potential positive impact: if there was just a 10% shift to motorcycles, congestion would drop by 40% and heightened emissions from stop-start traffic would reduce.

IAM RoadSmart recently launched a campaign recognising the importance of motorcycles, bringing attention to the critical role they could play in addressing concerns around air quality. This is especially important in the short term, during the crucial transition period as fossil-fuelled vehicles are phased out.

Despite the potential benefits of motorcycling, the UK government’s response to addressing traffic and improving air quality has so far overlooked motorcycles, and has instead focussed on policies such as prioritisation of ‘active travel’, such as cycling and walking, investment in public transport and implementation of Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ).

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart said, “Frustratingly, motorcycles have quite simply been ignored in the government’s plans to alleviate the impacts of increased traffic congestion ..."

Click here to read the full story in The Mover magazine.

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