Tag Archive: UK

  1. E-scooter legislation won’t apply to Northern Ireland, according to report

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    Source: Micromobilitybiz, A. Ballinger

    The UK Government’s plans for updated e-scooter legislation won’t automatically apply in Northern Ireland, according to a report.

    Earlier this month, the Government announced plans for a new low-speed, low-emission vehicle category, allowing the use of private-use e-scooters on public roads. 

    The Government mentioned that the update would form part of the upcoming Parliamentary session on the Transport Bill, but a report from news outlet Belfast Live suggests that the update to the law in Great Britain would not automatically be adopted in Northern Ireland. 

    A spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure told Belfast Live that the NI Minister for Infrastructure would be responsible for any decision on the use of e-scooters, remarking, “It is currently illegal to use electric scooters on public roads and public spaces in the North.  Any decision on the potential use of e-scooters here is a matter for the Minister for Infrastructure.”

    The proposed change in regulations in England does not apply to Northern Ireland, however, DfI officials are currently monitoring developments there and, following review, will provide advice to the Minister on the way forward.” 

    Following the Government announcement on e-scooter legislation, Belfast Live also reported that police in Northern Ireland planned to step up their response to the illegal use of e-scooters, currently banned from the roads unless the rider has a license, tax, and insurance. 

    The popularity of e-scooters continues to grow, with shared schemes being hailed as a success across the country.

    The Government plans to use safety data collected from the shared transport schemes to inform its legislation update, including details like maximum speed, battery power, and regulations on lights.  

  2. Pilot scheme: Free e-bike loans across England

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    Source: Cycling Industry News, Simon Cox

    The ‘Cycling made e-asy’ scheme runs from 2022 into 2023, offering free e-bike loans to citizens in 5 pilot areas, beginning with Greater Manchester

    The UK Department for Transport has provided £8 million of investment to the ‘cycling made e-asy’ scheme, which is run by Cycling UK. The primary goal is to make e-bikes accessible to those who do not have access to, or would not consider, cycling as a form of transport.

    Confirmed ‘Cycling made e-asy’ partners, supporting the delivery of the initiative, include Evans Cycles, Raleigh Bikes, Specialized, Tier Mobility, Islabikes, Cycling Projects, Bikeworks, Fusion Media, Modeshift, Cyclescheme, Cycle Confident, Big Issue e-bikes, Bicycle Association, and Transport for Quality of Life.

    The program delivers a part of the ‘Cycling and Walking Plan (Gear Change)’. The plan was created with the ambitious vision of half of all journeys in UK urban areas being walked or cycled by 2030.

    Cycling UK is a well-established organization in the UK, holding extensive experience in engaging with underrepresented groups and breaking down societal barriers. Utilizing a network of over 400 community cycling organizations will allow the scheme to rapidly engage with non-regular cyclists who may be interested in e-bike commuting.

    Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s chief executive said:

    The project is a unique opportunity for Cycling UK to offer free and easy loans of electric cycles to communities across England. Each of our chosen locations will have a variety of e-cycles available to suit a variety of participants’ needs. At Cycling UK, we understand that taking the first step to start cycling can be a difficult prospect for many people. This project will allow them to access an e-cycle without obstacles holding them back, to help them make real changes to their travel habits.”

    Cycling minister Trudy Harrison said:

    The £8 million we have provided for this scheme will help make cycling the natural first choice for many journeys – a key Government commitment from the Prime Minister’s Walking and Cycling plan. I’m grateful to Cycling UK for delivering this scheme on our behalf, giving people across the UK the opportunity to try something new whilst doing good for the planet.”

    Find the Cycling Made E-asy website here.

  3. e-Cargo investment of £920,000 for hospital scheme in Bristol, UK

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    Source: Cycling Industry News, Simon Fox

    A 12-month trial sees vans servicing Bristol Royal Infirmary replaced by cargo bikes for urban journeys

    Run by West of England Combined Authority, the trial will take place for a full year, beginning June 2022. E-cargo bikes will be used as direct replacements for vans previously utilized by the Bristol Royal Infirmary, with GPS tracking measuring how this change impacts delivery performance.

    The £920,000 of funding from central government seeks to deliver substantial change to the way in which UK transport systems operate. As outlined by the Future Transport Zone, “The zones will provide real-world testing for experts, allowing them to work with a range of local bodies such as councils, hospitals, airports and universities to test innovative ways to transport people and goods.”

    A comparable study by Pedal and Post, an Oxford-based cargo bike provider, found medical delivery times to be halved when using cargo bikes in comparison to vans in urban areas. The results for Bristol will become clear in a year’s time.

  4. CoMoUK – New developments and shared transport: cutting car dependency

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    Source: CoMoUK

    CoMoUK has released its latest research paper, discussing the underpowered and inconsistent approach to development in the UK in regard to shared transport and its potential to deliver sustainable mobility.

    CoMoUK plays a leading role in the UK’s transition to integrated mobility solutions designed for the public good. CoMoUK supports the development of shared modes including bikes, scooters, buses, and cars.

    The new paper, which can be accessed in full here, discusses the state of shared mode development in the UK. “There is widespread planning approval of schemes that lock in car dependency. Shared transport is often not included within scheme design at all, and elsewhere it is only included at a very small scale (e.g. a single car club vehicle). However, there are numerous developments that are being planned around the ability of sustainable transport, including shared options, to cut the need for parking spaces, improve place and air quality and deliver ‘gentle density.”

    The paper goes on to explore multiple case studies, including locations such as Exeter and Leeds, providing recommendations for the future and best practice guidelines. Key recommendations revolve around redefining planning policy, coordinating planning and transportation initiatives, and limitations on private car facilitations.

  5. UK government advised to consider new private e-scooter legislation

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    Source: European Transport Safety Council

    European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) member, PACTS, has set out recommendations for private e-scooter use in the UK if the vehicles are to become legal. This includes mandatory helmet use and a minimum rider age of 16. Recommendations were based on a nine-month research project.

    At present, e-scooter use in the UK is limited to city-specific rental schemes. Private usage is restricted to private land, despite this over a million such vehicles have entered the UK in recent years and it is not uncommon to see them in a public setting. Many users are either ignorant of or ignore the ban on public use and face fines or confiscation.

    Following its research, PACTS has published a comprehensive report looking at many aspects of e-scooter design and use which took into account research and experience from across the rest of Europe, where e-scooters are legal in most countries. This is seen by PACTS as the ideal legal scenario in which to launch private e-scooter ownership in the UK. Recommendations are as follows:

    • Maximum possible top speed of between 10mph-12.5mph (16-20km/h)
    • Maximum continuous rated motor power 250 W
    • Anti-tampering mechanisms should be included in the construction. Tampering should be prohibited by law
    • A maximum unladen weight of 20kg
    • A minimum front wheel size of 12 inches (30.5cm) and minimum rear wheel size of 10 inches (25.5cm)
    • Two independently controlled braking devices
    • Lighting to be mandatory at all times
    • An audible warning device to be mandatory
    • Helmet wearing to be mandatory
    • Rider age limit of at least 16 years
    • Riding on the pavement to be prohibited
    • Carrying of a passenger to be prohibited
    • Drink driving, dangerous or careless riding, and mobile phone use to be prohibited
    • In-person rider training recommended
    • e-scooters should be regulated as motor vehicles
    • Public liability insurance for riders recommended
    • The rider should inform the police if there is a collision involving an injury 
  6. Updated e-scooter trial requirements in the UK – number plates, speed limits, and more

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    Source: UK GOV, Micromobilitybiz

    From 1 April new guidance will come into effect across the UK for shared micromobility trials, ensuring safety and best practice is at the forefront of the scheme.

    Each e-scooter in UK-wide micromobility trials will be required to display a manufacturer label with a unique identification number; these should be clearly visible on either the steering column, side, or rear of each vehicle. A variety of reasoning is given for this updated guidance, primarily easier identification of individual riders by both the police and the public. In the UK public usage of a privately owned e-scooter is illegal, identification numbers will aid in differentiating vehicles that are not part of micromobility trials.

    Outside of unique identification numbers, a range of additional recommendations have been released focusing on safety for both riders and the public. Recommendations include a lower speed limit for new riders, good-parking incentives, safety events, and technological improvements. The full release can be viewed here.

    Following the extended trial period, evaluation of the scheme’s success will inform the future of micromobility services in the UK.

  7. The Bird Bike arrives in the UK via an exclusive Halfords partnership

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    Source: BikeBiz

    The launch, by LEVA-EU member Bird, aims to take advantage of rising e-bike sales in the UK

    In an exclusive partnership with Halfords, the ‘Bird Bike’ from Bird will pedal its way onto UK streets. The electrically assisted cycle features a 250w rear hub motor from fellow LEVA-EU member Bafang.

    Available in three colourways, compatible with the Bird app, and with a new step-through model joining the range this summer, Bird Bike will likely have riders flocking to their nearest Halfords for a test ride.

    Brian Buccella, senior vice president at bird shares, “The UK is investing heavily in its cycling infrastructure and people are now looking to micro-electric vehicles to replace their petrol-powered trips. The Bird Bike not only offers both new and experienced cyclists the thrill of the ride, but also the safety and technology synonymous with our brand.”

  8. United Kingdom highway code changes in force from 29 January

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    Source: GOV.UK

    Changes to the highway code provide fresh guidance to increase road safety, including a hierarchy of road users and promotion of the ‘Dutch reach’.  

    From 29 January 2022 changes to the highway code which act to protect the most at-risk road users come into effect. Notably, the UK will see the introduction of a road-user hierarchy, which ensures quicker or heavier modes of travel have the greatest responsibility to reduce their dangerous impact on others.

    Cyclists will also receive a reminder to ride in the centre of quiet roads, during slow-moving traffic, as well as in the approach to junctions. This guidance ensures riders remain as visible as possible, particularly in typical ‘danger zones’. Additionally, the legality of riding two abreast will be reinforced, which in many cases is the safest formation for larger groups, or those travelling with children.

    Finally, the ‘Dutch reach’ will be encouraged amongst motorists, in which one opens an adjacent door with the opposite arm. This manoeuvre physically encourages the motorist to look over their shoulder, and therefore, reduced the chance of injury to passing pedestrians or cyclists.

    Changes will be communicated to the public via the acclaimed THINK! road-safety campaign, backed with £500,000 in funding. It should be noted that all updates are advisory, and therefore not reinforced with a fine.

  9. Report by UK Government reveals e-bike statistics

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    Numbers suggest lower uptake, high awareness

    Source: Cycling Industry News

    While 92% of British people are yet to try an electric bike, 75% have some knowledge of what the system can offer. Generally, those living in rural areas or within higher-income households had a higher level of uptake and knowledge surrounding e-bikes. In contrast, those in urban areas, lower-income households, or ethnic minority groups reported a lower figure in both of these measures.

    In particular, respondents recognized the potential of e-Bikes to aid those with mobility issues, as well as their green footprint in comparison to driving.

    The UK to follow in Europe’s footsteps?

    The low level of e-Bike usage within the UK should however not be seen as disheartening; it is typical for the country to trail behind European trends. The slow uptake may also be attributed to the perceived high price of e-Bikes, with 59% of respondents believing the technology to be too expensive. A direct subsidy on e-Bikes, as called for by 32% of bike shops, may offer a solution to this issue.

    The second highest concern is related to the risk of theft; an issue unrelated to e-Bikes themselves but rather the lack of parking infrastructure seen within the UK. Those in younger age categories are particularly worried that permanent storage may be an issue.

    Overall public perception of e-Bikes is positive, with a lower proportion of people (56%) identifying drawbacks than those who could name perks (80%).

    Further findings can be found in the downloadable report, here.

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