Big three-wheeled scooters denied London congestion charge exemption

Piaggio MP3 500, Peugeot Metropolis, Gilera Fuoco, Quadro3 and Quadro4 are all too long says TfL

BIG-CAPACITY three-wheeled scooters are being denied exemption from central London's £11.50-a-day congestion charge because they are too long under transport authority rules.  

It's a blow for the appeal of the Piaggio MP3 500, Gilera Fuoco 500, Peugeot Metropolis 400 and two new models from Swiss firm Quadro.

Under TfL's rules, three-wheeled scooters are classed as 'motor tricycles' which are only eligible for exemption from the charge if they are no more than two metres long.

Piaggio's 278cc MP3 Yourban is 2,040mm but is granted exemption because 'there's a degree of discretion allowed and it's only four centimetres over,' according to a TfL spokesman.

Exemption is given in response to individual applications from owners who send a photograph of the machine.

But TfL has clamped down on three-wheeled scooters that are longer and refuses applications from owners. 

They include the Peugeot Metropolis 400, at 2,152mm, the Piaggio MP3 500, at 2,205mm, and the Gilera Fuoco 500, at 2,210mm.

The three-wheeled 346cc Quadro3 is longer still, at 2,270mm. The four-wheeled Quadro4 is classed as a three-wheeler under European law according to the UK importer but also exceeds TfL's maximum length, at 2,180mm.  

A Transport for London spokesman said of the MP3 500 and Quadro4: 'Neither of them qualify for a discount as they do not meet the specified requirements, outlined here.'

A spokesman for Piaggio and Gilera said: ‘We are in discussion about the MP3 500 models,’ adding: ‘We only have exemption for Yourban.’ 

Dean Clements of Quadro importer Clements Moto said: 'Across all brands it seems that when exemption is applied for and a picture is submitted, some are granted and others are not. Hence we are applying to have this resolved as we have been caught by an unintended consequence.'

The charge drops to £10 a day using TfL's 'auto pay' agreement, under which users are automatically charged monthly by debit or credit card for every day their number plate is recorded in the congestion zone.

According to some scooter forums, some three-wheeler owners are using this system and not being charged for the days they enter the zone, because cameras on many routes are front-facing and the vehicles only have rear number plates. 

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