Tag Archive: Legislation

  1. Last Chance to Help Pushing for Inclusive E-Bike Regulations in the UK

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    In the UK, an online consultation organized by the governement, to gauge opinions on improving technical rules for electric bicycles, will be closing next Thursday 25 April at 23.59. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to significantly improve the rules and make the electric bicycle market accessible to millions of British people. The consultation is here: https://rb.gy/a8guw3.

    LEVA-EU calls on all parties with a real interest in growing the light electric vehicle market, and electric bikes in particular, to respond in a positive way to the proposals. It will give millions of people access to electric bikes, it will boost electric cargobike use and it will make mobility in the UK more sustainable.

    The two main proposals are:

    1) increasing the maximum continuous rated power from 250 to 500W
    2) allowing electric pedal assisted bikes to be equipped with a throttle without the vehicles having to be type approved (as is the case today).

    In the EU, and until further notice also still in the UK, an electric bicycle with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h, a maximum continuous rated power of 500 W and a throttle, is categorised as an L1e-A powered cycle, and must be type-approved.

    EPACs 250W without throttle and EPACs 500 W with a throttle, of the same weight, have exactly the same kinetic energy. Consequently, the result of an impact will be identical for both vehicles. So you would expect these identical vehicles to be subject to identical technical requirements. And yet they are subject to two completely different legal frameworks: the Machinery Directive for the 250W as opposed to Regulation 168/2013 for the 500 W. The result of the latter damming legislation, originally designed for mopeds and motorcycles, thus totally inadequate and inaccurate for any type of electric bike, is that not one powered cycle has been approved. No manufacturer wants/is able to risk type-approval. Moreover, most Member States wouldn’t even know how to deal with such a vehicle in their traffic code. Belgium, one of the few member states to acknowledge the difference between mopeds and electric bicycles in the traffic code, has given L1e-A vehicles the same status as conventional bikes. However, this is to no avail since there are no such vehicles on the market.

    LEVA-EU has been advocating for years for the abolition of the maximum continuous rated power requirement, which plays no role in the safety of electric bicycles. Instead, technical regulations must be developed to ensure that vehicles accelerate safely. The proposed increase from 250 to 500W is not ideal but would provide some breathing space for cargo bicycles in particular.

    The proposal to give electric bicycles with pedal assistance and a throttle the same legal status as bicycles with pedal assistance only sounds like music to LEVA-EU’s ears.

    The UK has 16 million people with a physical disability. For several millions of them this means that they are unable to pedal consistently. The combination of pedal assistance and throttle is therefore a solution that can get millions of people in the saddle. Moreover, it will also make the lives of, for example, cargo bike riders and bicycle couriers considerably easier.

    But guess what? The entire British cycling community is loudly calling for the proposals to be turned down!!!!

    The Bicycle Association (BA), the professional organization of (electric) bicycle manufacturers and importers and the dealer organization ACT call the proposed measures “unnecessary” and “risky”. They even claim: “There’s no evidence these changes would significantly boost demand.” That’s really making a fool of the truth. Until 2016, electric bicycles with a throttle were allowed as regular EPACS in the UK. They know all too well that the so-called twist and go bicycles were more popular than bicycles with pedal assistance only. It took the UK until 2016 to align its legislation with European legislation as a result of which e-bikes with a throttle were banished to the L1e-A category.

    The BA and ACT warn that 500W could pose a fire risk! Such absolute nonsense, provided without any proof, undermines the credibility of their argumentation completely. They further argue that e-bikes, on which you no longer have to pedal, could lead to “moped-style regulation on the whole e-bike category“. They have clearly erased from their collective memory the long episode in British law during which e-bikes with throttles enjoyed the same status as conventional electric bicycles, without that resulting in moped-style regulation on the whole e-bike category. The British government now voluntarily offers once again equalization for equal vehicles. Why would they suddenly turn around and change the law into moped-style regulations after all?

    The sheer nonsense that electric bicycles with throttle could jeopardize the bicycle status of the current EPACs is a song that has been sung by CONEBI for 25 years. The only reason for that position is protectionism. The major companies behind CONEBI do everything they can to protect their cash cow, the EPAC with pedal assistance only, against any competition and at any price. And as a member of CONEBI, the BA naturally sings from the same hymn sheet. It is not clear why the ACT also finds it necessary to deny their members, the (electric) bicycle dealers, a much better future.

    Cyclists’ organisation, Cycling UK, is also firmly against the proposals. In a comment, the director of external affairs showed a complete lack of knowledge of the matter as she stated: “These proposals present a huge safety risk to pedestrians and others who cycle. The dramatically increased power would mean faster acceleration and much heavier bikes, which we’re really concerned about.” The Cycling UK director is clearly not familiar with the concept of maximum continuous rated power, ignorance which does not prevent her from taking a firm stance.

    The British government is voluntarily offering a unique opportunity to remove legal barriers to electric bicycles, making them accessible to millions more people. The BA and ACT challenge that proposal with nothing but intellectual dishonesty, Cycling UK even with stupidity. How dare they deny millions of people access to sustainable mobility, whilst claiming they are defending the interests of their industry?

    The consultation is here, https://rb.gy/a8guw3, and will remain online until 25 April, midnight.

    We welcome the challenging of the LEVA-EU position on this issue, but we will only engage in evidence-based discussions.

    Annick Roetynck,
    LEVA-EU Manager

  2. New York City’s final cargo bike rules declared a victory for sustainable freight deliveries

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    Source: eBikes International

    On March 28, 2024, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) announced finalized regulations for cargo bikes marking a significant milestone in promoting sustainable delivery practices.

    According to Streetsblog NYC, these new regulations permit extended bike-trailer combinations and introduce the use of four-wheeled cargo bikes resembling vans, heralding a potential revolution in cargo transportation towards eco-friendly alternatives.

    In a statement, DOT acknowledged adjustments made to the initial draft rules following feedback gathered during the public comment period, indicating a receptive approach to industry input. The updated regulations now permit the use of pedal-assist electric-cargo bicycles measuring up to four feet wide, with four wheels, and extending up to 192 inches in length (inclusive of trailers). This is a considerable expansion from the previous limit of 120 inches, which would have restricted the operations of established delivery fleets from Whole Foods and Amazon.

    Ben Morris of Coaster Cycles praised DOT’s efforts, noting their successful balancing of public and private interests. This development signifies a step forward in accommodating the evolving needs of the transportation sector while advancing environmental sustainability objectives.

  3. Delay to UK law on e-scooters criticised

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    Source: BBC

    Firms and activists have criticized the UK government for its delay in implementing new laws concerning e-scooters, arguing that it missed an opportunity to tighten safety regulations. Currently, e-scooters are only legally permissible on private land or through trial hire programs.

    The absence of any reference to new legislation in the recent King’s Speech suggests a postponement in legislation. Instead, the government has pledged to extend ongoing trials until May 2026, telling the BBC this was “to gather further evidence as the technology develops to ensure any future legislation balances safety, user accountability and market growth.”

    Moreover, the government plans to initiate consultations later this year regarding potential regulations, including minimum rider age and maximum speed limits. Despite the announcement of new e-scooter laws in the Queen’s Speech of May 2022, their absence from the recent King’s Speech has raised concerns among campaigners and companies.

    Critics fear that the UK’s delay in implementing policies regarding e-scooters could result in missed advantages associated with their use. Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK), a national shared transport charity supporting e-scooter use, warned that the UK is falling behind the rest of the world with its “lack of action”, stating that new laws are crucial to ensuring high safety standards for both privately owned and rental e-scooters.

    Estimates suggest that around 750,000 unregulated, privately owned e-scooters are currently in use across the UK. Dott, an e-scooter rental company in London, have expressed concern that the policy delay discourages long-term investments in the UK.

    Safer Scooters

    The safety aspect of e-scooters remains a contentious issue, with advocates for vulnerable pedestrians seeing new laws as an opportunity to address concerns. Guide Dogs, a charity representing the visually impaired, expressed disappointment over the delay in laws aimed at tackling issues caused by anti-social e-scooter use, urging the government to introduce laws as soon as possible. Previously, the charity had emphasized the risks posed by e-scooters to individuals with sight loss due to factors such as weight, speed, silence, and their frequent use on pavements.

    E-scooter rental trials in towns and cities in England have presented challenges, with rental e-scooters abandoned on pavements. Guide Dogs advocates for specific measures such as mandatory docked parking for rental e-scooters, stringent controls on their weight, power, and speed, and enforcement mechanisms to address misuse.

  4. UK motorcycle industry and riders launch ‘A Licence to Net Zero’ to improve access to mopeds, motorcycles and other L-Category vehicles

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    Motorcycle industry and riders launch ‘A Licence to Net Zero’ to improve access to mopeds, motorcycles and other L-Category vehicles. Proposals include calls for earlier access to L-Category vehicles, including creating two new vehicle categories – the electric light moped and the e-step scooter.

    The UK body, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) has launched ‘A Licence to Net Zero – Unleashing our Potential, Licence Reform Essential’, MCIA’s latest campaign to make the process for attaining a moped, motorcycle or other L-Category vehicle licence less complex, less costly, and more accessible for a broader section of society in the United Kingdom.

    Supported by rider representative group, the National Motorcyclists Council (NMC), and Zemo Partnership, the launch represents a significant step forward in the delivery of the joint industry and Government Action Plan for L-Category vehicles, launched in February 2022.

    You can watch MCIA’s animation introducing the campaign here.

    You can read MCIA’s proposals underpinning the campaign here.

    L-Category vehicles, or powered light vehicles (PLVs), include mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles, which include micro cars. They offer affordable and versatile solutions to contemporary transportation challenges, including reducing emissions and congestion and provide affordable and accessible modes of transport – moving people and goods to and from work and/or college in urban, sub-urban and rural areas – for private individuals and businesses alike.

    The moped and motorcycle industry’s role in reducing emissions, lowering congestion and using road space more efficiently was recognised for the first time in the UK Government’s 2021 Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which tasked MCIA and Zemo Partnership to produce a joint industry and Government Action Plan for the sector. 

    MCIA and Zemo’s landmark Action Plan: Realising the Full Potential of Zero Emission Powered Light Vehicles, underscored a commitment to a greener future. The Action Plan identifies the barriers the sector must overcome and the opportunities it must harness, together with the Government, if its full potential is to be realised and, in turn, accessed by the broadest possible section of society.

    Improving access to the sector is therefore essential to this transformation. ‘A Licence to Net Zero’ has been deliberately conceived to align with action six in the joint Action Plan, which calls on the Government to conduct a full-scale review of the existing L-Category licensing regime.

    Now the UK has left the EU, MCIA believes it’s time to revamp moped and motorcycle licensing. They state that the current process is burdensome, intimidating and expensive, hindering entry. There needs to be simplification in order to reduce barriers while enhancing safety. 

    The organisation writes that the EU’s 3rd Driving Licence Directive unintentionally favours direct access over gradual progression, discouraging safer routes. As a result, they believe that it hasn’t improved user safety as intended, it’s kept casualties stable over the last decade. The UK needs a modern, forward thinking licensing regime, one that will address existing user safety and cater for the needs of new entrants into this sector with both safety and convenience in mind.  L-Category vehicles represent just 1% of the overall traffic mix, yet they account for 20% of all road fatalities. Despite this, positively, the Government has recognised their immense potential in accelerating the journey towards net zero and enhancing the quality of our urban and suburban areas, but it must double down on these ambitions if they are to become a reality. 

    Instead of basing policy decisions solely on past safety concerns, MCIA believes that the Government needs to adopt a forward-thinking approach, anticipating the future traffic mix. Rather than being a reason to disregard them, their safety track record should serve as motivation to liberate and optimise their viability as a sustainable mode of mobility for the future.

    Tony Campbell, CEO of MCIA, said:

    “We’re pleased to be launching A Licence to Net Zero today – the time has come for a full-scale review of L-Category licensing requirements. The Government’s recognition of our sector’s role in decarbonising transportation is commendable, but we need the tools to make it happen.

    MCIA fully supports the Government’s goals, but we must shed outdated regulations in order to thrive. Licensing is one of the biggest hurdles facing our sector, hindering growth and road safety over the last decade.

    Our mission is a simple one: simplify sector access, promote accessibility and cost effectiveness, road safety, and accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero by 2050.”

    Craig Carey-Clinch, Executive Director of NMC, said:

    “The NMC’s members share MCIA’s belief in the need for significant licensing reform via a comprehensive review of the current regime, particularly as intended benefits for road safety from the current regime have not materialised. Although there are some differences of detail in the NMC’s published proposals, both our positions on the fundamentals of licensing reform align and we are pleased to support ‘A Licence to Net Zero’ in recognition of our shared aspirations.”

    Andy Eastlake, Chief Executive of Zemo Partnership, said:

    “Access to zero emission PLV’s is one of the fastest ways to decarbonise mobility for many journeys across the UK.  With the advent of new types of vehicles and new users, getting the ‘right licensing for the right vehicles and users’ is a critical enabling step.  Zemo is pleased to see this action progress, from our joint and collaborative plan and in particular to look in detail at the L0 initiative and how we get ‘road and rider sense’ embedded as early as possible to help create a cleaner and safer future mobility system for all.”

  5. Changes to road safety laws in Italy impact e-scooters

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    Source: ETSC

    In Italy, significant road safety reforms have passed in Italian Parliament following approval by the Council of Ministers. These reforms encompass several key changes, including the following:

    1. Drink and Drug Driving: The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for individuals previously convicted of drink-driving will be set at zero. Mandatory alcohol interlocks will be imposed on repeat offenders. A positive drug test will result in automatic license withdrawal, with no need to prove psychological impairment.
    2. New Drivers: Italy currently applies a 70kW power limit for internal combustion engine cars for new drivers during their first year after they pass their test. An upcoming study will demonstrate the effectiveness of this measure in reducing accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The proposed reform will extend this restriction to three years.
    3. E-Scooters: Helmets will become mandatory for riders of both private and shared scooters equipped with license plates. Additionally, insurance coverage will be obligatory. E-scooter circulation will be prohibited in extra-urban areas, and shared scooter operators will need to implement geo-blocking measures to prevent this. Furthermore, indicator lights and front and rear brakes will be compulsory.
  6. Many e-scooters and e-bikes to be “treated just like bikes” under new Irish law

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    Source: Newstalk

    New Irish road safety legislation will categorise e-scooters and e-bikes similarly to traditional manual bikes, according to Irish transport consultant Conor Faughnan.

    The Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023 was signed into law in June 2023, and has given the green light for regulations to govern e-scooters for the first time. Although the comprehensive regulations are not yet available, Faughnan told The Pat Kenny Show that this legislation will treat most electric bikes and e-scooters the same as regular pedal bikes.

    In the primary legislation, we know the maximum speed [for e-scooters] is going to be 25 kilometres per hour. The new law says an e-bike is grand – if it’s a light vehicle, if it’s 25km/h, then for all legal purposes, it’s a bike. Whenever you see in the law “bicycle” think “e-bike” – they have the same rules,” explained Faughnan.

    E-bikes typically have average speeds ranging from 20 to 25 kilometres per hour, whereas e-scooters have an average speed between 25 to 48 kilometres per hour. According to Faughnan, this new legislation around the speed and power of electric scooters and bikes follows a trend in most European countries.

    Faughnan emphasized that integrating legislation for e-bikes and e-scooters with regular bicycles will contribute to the safe operation of these electric vehicles, and people shouldn’t be intimidated by their seemingly faster speeds.

    If you just forget the engineer or the motor for the moment, [fast cyclists] exist already, imagine the guys zipping down the hills in their spandex, cycling at very fast speeds. In town, a lot of new cycle tracks… they have plastic bollards, and the cyclists are single-file. That’s quite frustrating if you’re on a big bike and you’ve got a lot of steam or you’re trying to get into town, and there’s a slow-moving mum with kids on a ‘trike’. It’s no different really whether the bike is e-powered. The simple rule of thumb is ‘it’s a bike’, until it gets too big and then it’s a moped.

  7. Over 50 organisations urgently call on UK Government to address e-scooter legislation

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    Source: MMB & Zag Daily

    More than 50 organisations have signed a letter to the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, calling on the government to establish a timeline for e-scooter legislation.

    Environmental charities, local authorities, disabled people’s organisations, micromobility operators, and retailers have signed a joint letter from Now Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) to encourage the government to expedite the progression of this legislation.

    Currently, rental e-scooters are exclusively accessible through government-approved trials available in approximately 23 towns and cities across England, while the use of privately-owned e-scooters on public roads remains prohibited by law.

    The UK stands as the only developed nation lacking either permanent legal frameworks for e-scooters or definitive commitments towards plans to legalise them.

    The letter sent to Mark Harper MP, Transport Secretary and Jesse Norman MP, Minister of State reads: “Currently e-scooter trials are due to end after May 2024. These trials are ingrained into local transportation systems enabling thousands of people to get to work, higher education and to run errands. Yet there is no certainty of these trials beyond spring next year now the ability of additional towns or cities to introduce these services.

    “The lack of certainty combined with the fact an estimated 750,000 privately owned and unregulated e-scooters are on UK roads underscored the importance of e-scooter legislation being included in this year’s king’s speech.

    “Another extension to shared e-scooters does not address private e-scooters. These private vehicles are unlikely to undergo regular maintenance by trained professionals or have government mandated safety features.

    “Private e-scooters can cause concern for road users particularly disabled people in addition to potentially being unsafe for riders, however, this is where legislation and regulation can make a positive difference.”

    Among the signatories include the Campaign for Better Transport, Clean Cities Campaign, London Cycling Campaign, Major Trauma Group, Northamptonshire Police, Pure Electric, Southampton Sight, Sustrans, Thomas Pocklington Trust, Transport Action Network, Urban Transport Group, and Women in Transport.

    Local authorities include Essex County Council, Milton Keynes City Council, North Northamptonshire Council, Somerset Council, West Northamptonshire Council, and West Yorkshire Combined Authority have also lent their support.

    Leading micromobility operators such as Voi, Beryl, Dott, Ginger, Lime, Superpedestrian, Tier, and Zwings have additionally signed the initiative.

    In a statement to Zag Daily, Richard Dilks, the Chief Executive of CoMoUK, emphasized, “While we appreciate the government’s prior inclusion of this commitment in the Queen’s Speech, it is disheartening that we are yet to witness the enactment of legislation establishing a distinct class for powered light vehicles. Consequently, the UK now finds itself significantly trailing neighboring nations with comparable circumstances.”

    A recent independent survey conducted by Voi, involving 2,000 respondents aged between 18 and 64, found that more than 80% of the general public support new regulatory measures for e-scooters, while over 70% expressed a desire for the implementation of these regulations prior to the next General Election, which is likely to be held next year.

  8. Irish e-scooter legislation changes welcomed

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    Source: Zag Daily

    An important new step in the legal recognition of e-scooters in Ireland has been welcomed by shared-micromobility companies. Signed by Irish President Michael Higgins, The Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021 includes “powered personal transporters”, a category representative of e-scooters. More details on the requirements for private and shared e-scooters on Irish roads will follow.

    CEO and Founder of shared-mobility data solutions provider Anadue, Mike Manchip, commented to Zag Daily, “It has been a long time coming, and it’s a very positive move for Ireland”, further mentioning, “There is a need for local authorities and shared e-scooter companies to coordinate how to deploy shared e-scooter services that are sustainable.”


    Head of Public Policy for Bolt Ireland, Aisling Dunne, welcomed the news of the legislation being signed into law. “We are now waiting for the publication of the regulations, which will contain greater details on the vehicle standards and user behaviour,” said Dunne. “We will continue to work with local councils and look forward to shared schemes launching before the end of the year.”

    Lime, a relative newcomer to the Irish market with a Castlebar-based scheme, also recognised the legislation. Senior Public Affairs Manager, Hal Stevenson, commented, “We look forward to working with Irish cities and transport partners to build on our existing successful operations here.”

    Also in support was Jessica Hall, Tier’s Head of Public Policy for the UK and Ireland. Tier initially launched its first full scale e-bike scheme in 2022 in Fingal, Ireland, while an e-scooter trial has been in operation on private land at DCU for the past two years. Commenting to Zag Daily, Hall had confidence that the legislation offered a sustainable alternative to the car, “With proper legislation the public can feel secure in the knowledge that the vehicles they ride are legal and law enforcement can focus on anti-social behaviour and illegal vehicles.”

    Hall went on to say, “We are well placed to ensure these new vehicles are introduced safely. We are excited to be able to offer e-scooters alongside our existing docked push bikes and e-bikes and dockless e-bikes and e-cargo bikes, to cater to the unique transport needs each town or city presents.”

    Also commenting to Zag was Irish firm Zeus’s CEO, Damien Young: “As Ireland’s largest and only homegrown scooter company, we have worked closely with local councils for several years. This legislation represents a significant step towards embracing sustainable mobility solutions, and Zeus is committed to playing a role in this positive transition.”


    Ireland’s Road Traffic and Roads Bill currently allows “powered personal transporters” on roads, which must adhere to limits of 25 km/h and 0.5 kilowatts of maximum continuous rated power. A second piece of legislation will deliver more details.

  9. UK Transport Minister questioned on e-scooter legislation delay

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    Source: Zag Daily

    The regulation of private e-scooters continues to be a discussed topic, one on which UK Transport Minister Jesse Norman believes more data and public consultation is required.

    During a Transport Select Committee hearing, UK Transport Minister Jesse Norman was questioned by MPs about the next government steps. Norman’s response was that the department still requires, “non-pandemic large-scale e-scooter usage data” in addition to the public’s views on any legislation. Norman continued, “We need to talk to people and say, ‘Look, here are insurance alternatives. What do you think? Here’s the evidence on helmets. What do you think? Here’s the evidence on safety. What do you think? We certainly don’t have a consolidated basis of consultative evidence.”

    In response, opposing Labour MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw, commented that enough time has already been spent: “I think the government wants to regulate and agrees with us on this. I don’t think you’re getting a lot of opposition, so please just get on with it.”

    According to Norman, the decision on when to send the Transport Act to Parliament is currently being considered by MPs: “It wouldn’t be an immediate action even if there was time in Parliament now. But even if that were available, there are still several intermediate steps, potentially another round of consultation, an extension of some trial work, more focused trial work potentially, before we get to that stage.”

    Safety concerns are being considered alongside the benefits of e-scooters that include connecting communities hampered by public transport. Norman talked of a balance that was required, further commenting, “My goal is to continue to push ahead with this, pull out the lessons we’re getting on the issues I’ve raised and then try to put them in front of the public to have a proper conversation about it and take that debate forward another stage.”

    E-scooter legislation

    In May 2022, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport (DfT) Baroness Vere of Norbiton, announced that the UK Government would be creating a new low-speed zero-emission vehicle category and the bill would be submitted in the current parliamentary session. However, last December, the DfT postponed the Transport Bill details, part of the forthcoming Future of Transport legislation. Trials are now extended to May 2024.

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