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24 Jan 2024

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is taking enforcement action and warning consumers about a brand of e-bike battery – UPP – that has been linked to a number of...

16 Jan 2024

Walton Street Cycles, one of Oxford’s oldest bike shops, has been trading in the city since 1975.

16 Jan 2024

ACT Gold Member ICE Trikes has announced a new partnership announcement with British Cycling’s Limitless disability and para-cycling programme. This partnership will help to support the...

15 Jan 2024

An interesting article has appeared in Forbes reflecting many of the issues that ACT members will be experiencing – the challenges and opportunities that are currently...

15 Jan 2024

The Guardian has reported that ministers decided to prioritise driving over active travel because of worries about “15-minute cities”.

15 Jan 2024

Go Outdoors, which operates 75 stores across the UK, has announced an apprenticeship scheme involving Cytech training with the aim of addressing what it terms a nationwide shortage of...

3 Jan 2024

gogeta, the new tax-free cycling platform that offers a better deal for retailers and bigger savings for customers, has published further details of its new Flexi Voucher, an industry first...

3 Jan 2024

Bike for Good, the Glasgow-based cycling charity and social enterprise, which delivers Cytech training in Scotland, has announced a Young Bike Mechanic Programme designed to create opportunities...

3 Jan 2024

With the UK economy set to tread water in 2024, the KPMG/RetailNext Retail Think Tank (RTT), an independent board of retail experts, expects this will impact growth within the retail sector.

3 Jan 2024

For our latest retailer spotlight, we spoke with Steven Grimwood from the brilliant Elmy Cycles in Ipswich, who has been working in the cycle trade since he was 14 years old

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Government confirms no plans for cyclists to be registered and insured.

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

The government has confirmed it has no plans for cyclists to be subject to compulsory registration.

Jesse Norman

Jesse Norman, Minister of State at the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed the government’s position in response to a question from Jim Shannon, DUP MP for Strangford.

The question had asked whether the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper, had “made a recent assessment of the potential merits of requiring electric bike users to (a) have a number plate and (b) be insured.”

In his reply, Mr Norman wrote: “The Department considered issues including a mandatory registration and insurance system for cyclists as part of a cycling and walking safety review in 2018.

“The review concluded that restricting people’s ability to cycle in this way would mean that many would choose other modes of transport instead, with negative impacts for congestion, pollution and health,” he added.

Calls for cyclists to be licensed and insured are regularly made by those who perceive cyclists as a menace on the roads. They have been regularly rejected by the government.

In December 2021, the government rejected calls by motoring lawyer Nick Freeman to display identification – his suggestion was hi-vis tabards bearing a registration number – after a petition he launched on the subject and plugged for several months in newspaper articles and on TV appearances gained 10,000 signatures.

The rejection for cyclists to be registered, due to the complexity and cost of  running such a scheme, is based on real-life precedent, with jurisdictions around the world that have implemented such measures quickly scrapping them afterwards.

As for insurance, most adult cyclists will be covered for third party liability while riding a bike, whether through membership of organisations such as British Cycling and its affiliated clubs, or Cycling UK, or in most cases under their household contents cover.

The latter specifically exclude liability while using mechanically propelled vehicles such as private cars, where it is of course a legal requirement to have at minimum third party cover.

Although Mr Norman’s reply related to all cyclists, Mr Shannon’s question specifically referenced “electric bike users,” an area in which there is widespread public misunderstanding of the law.

To legally qualify as an “electric bike” – or to give its legal definition, an “electrically assisted pedal cycle” (EAPC), it must meet certain requirements, as set out by the government.

Anyone aged 14 or over can ride an electric bike, without needing a licence, registration or insurance, if it complies with those requirements including that it has pedals that can be used to propel it, has a maximum power output of 250 watts, and the motor cannot power the bike at speeds above 15.5mph.

“Any electric bike that does not meet the EAPC rules is classed as a motorcycle or moped and needs to be registered and taxed.” The government says, advising users that they must have a driving licence to ride one, and wear a crash helmet.”

Those definitions are in line with regulations initially drawn up by the European Union, and despite Brexit, remain in force in the UK with no suggestion they will be amended any time soon, and it is worth noting that the European Court of Justice recently confirmed in a landmark ruling that e-bikes meeting those requirements “are bicycles, instead of motorbikes.”

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