February 6 2004. Commuters feeling let down by public transport should switch to motorcycles, according to the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI).

Motorcycles have proved to be a winner in London, following the introduction of the congestion charge in February 2003, and, according to Transport for London (TfL), motorcycle usage across the capital has increased by 20 per cent. Yet accident numbers have actually fallen by 15 per cent, while non-motorcycle traffic within the zone has fallen by approximately 16 per cent.

Frank Finch, motorcycle retailers director for the RMI says: "Those who want to make a positive change in their daily commute should consider swapping their bus or train seat for a motorcycle or scooter. They are being seen as an increasingly practical and safe option for urban commuters.

"Motorcycles generally emit lower carbon dioxide than cars. In fact, emissions from commuter bikes are typically less than half that of the average passenger car. Motorcycles and scooters also use less fuel than cars, occupy less space on the road, and require fewer resources to be constructed in the first place. They are lighter, cheaper, and one of the fastest ways to travel in a city," he added.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is considering the role of motorcycles, whether conventionally powered or electric for example, in providing greener transport for the motoring public. Although hydrocarbon (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions from bikes are generally greater than from cars, bikes perform significantly better than diesel cars in respect of NOx emissions.

New legislation coming into force over the next few years, in combination with the increasing use of catalytic converters and fuel injection on motorcycles, will result in further reductions in motorcycle emissions.

Finch commented: "Now bikes are set to face similar emission limits as cars, they will become cleaner than ever."

To find out more about getting onto a motorcycle or scooter, and to contact your nearest RMI dealer, visit www.rmif.co.uk or call the RMI Consumer Motorline: Tel: 08457 58 53 50.