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20 Dec 2023

The ACT office will be open as usual (9am-5pm) for the majority of the Christmas period, with some exceptions.

19 Dec 2023

Bira's CEO, Andrew Goodacre, took the spotlight on BBC Breakfast this week and later spoke with Nicky Campbell on BBC Radio 5 Live, shedding light on the rise in retail crime and shop theft,...

14 Dec 2023

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has issued a new safety message, highlighting the steps people should take when owning or thinking of buying an e-bike or scooter.

13 Dec 2023

A bike shop that was created to provide jobs for ex-offenders leaving prison has now become a safe space for people to park their bikes.

11 Dec 2023

ACT member On The Brakes in Leigh on Sea, Essex is celebrating after being named independent business of the year in a local competition set up by a local MP to celebrate the “incredible...

11 Dec 2023

A controversial ban on e-bikes in certain pedestrianised parts of Coventry city centre has come into force, with the deputy leader of the council warning that riders can expect strict...

11 Dec 2023

Bike Europe has reported that “serious concerns” remain about the enforcement of a ban on the sale of e-bike chargers and conversion kits by one of the largest online sellers,...

11 Dec 2023

It has been reported that The Cycle Show, the major industry event held at London's Alexandra Palace and which this year celebrated its 20th anniversary, has fallen victim to the challenging...

30 Nov 2023

New research from Lime entitled “Tackling the Gender Pedal Gap” has most women facing barriers to cycling, including poorly lit streets and isolated routes. The report claims...

27 Nov 2023

Torq Zone Academy, a leading institution of vocational training in South Africa, has been re-accredited by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), for another five years, to offer...

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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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