Tag Archive: UK

  1. UK government plug-in grant set to end for electric mopeds

    Comments Off on UK government plug-in grant set to end for electric mopeds

    Source: Motorcycle Trader

    The UK government has revealed its intentions for a partial extension of the Plug-in Motorcycle Grant (PIMG) specifically for motorcycles. However, it has advised that the scheme will cease for new L1e moped orders by the end of the current financial year (5th April 2024).

    The government announcement states “The PIMG was intended to bridge the cost between zero emission models and petrol/diesel equivalents, to  encourage early market growth. The grant has successfully provided more than £7m to support the purchase of over 12,000 vehicles.

    “With the market share for electric mopeds at over 40% in 2022, up from 1.8% in 2016, the Government has decided to close the PIMG for mopeds. The grant remains available for new L1e moped orders to be placed until 5 April 2024 only.

    “The government has always been clear that all plug-in vehicle grants would eventually end and previously confirmed funding until the 2023/24 financial year. However, the government recognises that continued support for motorcycles is needed in its transition to zero-emission.

    “We are therefore pleased to confirm that the PIMG will continue to be available for L3e-category vehicles (motorcycles) into the next financial year (2024/25), with no change to the grant rate.

    “The guidance on the GOV.UK website will be updated to reflect this announcement in due course. All plug-in vehicle grants will remain under review to deliver the greatest value for money for the taxpayer.”

  2. UK Department for Transport opens consultation on proposed changes to legislation for electrically assisted pedal cycles

    Comments Off on UK Department for Transport opens consultation on proposed changes to legislation for electrically assisted pedal cycles

    The consultation seeks views on the proposed changes, and any benefits or risks people think the changes may have

    A welcome opportunity to feed back on LEV legislation has arisen in the UK. The British government proposes 2 changes to the regulations on electrically assisted pedal cycles (EAPCs or e-cycles):

    • to amend the legal definition of EAPCs, so that the maximum continuous power output of the electric motor is 500 watts instead of 250 watts
    • to allow ‘twist and go’ EAPCs to have throttle assistance up to 15.5mph (25km/h) without the need for type approval

    The proposal reasons that:

    “E-cycles can address the problems of ill-health, air pollution, carbon emissions and congestion, which are caused by externalities in the transport market. Some groups of people (for example older people, disabled people or people with mobility impairments) and freight operators seeking to move heavier loads are less likely or able to cycle without the electrical assistance provided by e-cycles and e-cargo bikes. Since current regulatory standards limit the power of e-cycles, government intervention is necessary to address this”

    The policy documents further acknowledge the role of EAPCs in contributing to active travel. improved air quality, and reduced traffic congestion. The benefits of increased power and throttle assistance are aligned with better accessibility for older riders, those with limited mobility, those in hilly areas, and those with greater loads such as freight and cargo riders.

    This consultation closes at 11:59pm UTC on 25 April 2024.

    View and respond to the consultation here.

  3. UK government publishes new guidance to enhance e-bike and e-scooter safety

    Comments Off on UK government publishes new guidance to enhance e-bike and e-scooter safety

    Source: GOV.UK

    Guidance includes information on how to safely buy, store and charge e-cycles and e-scooters.

    Information around how to safely purchase, charge and use e-bikes and e-scooters has been published by the UK government to improve consumer safety.

    After thorough consultation with the industry, guidance on battery safety has been developed for both e-scooters and e-bikes, which aims to enhance awareness among owners regarding the safe purchase of e-cycles or e-scooters, ensuring compliance with manufacturing requirements, and promoting transactions with reputable sellers. The documents cover information on secure storage and charging, the warning signs for fire risk and how to address them, and responsible battery disposal. The guidance also emphasises that legal use of e-scooters on roads is restricted unless they are part of an official rental trial.

    Separate guidance has been issued to assist public transport operators in evaluating and managing fire risks associated with the transportation of e-bikes and e-scooters on trains and buses. Similar information has been produced for those managing premises such as schools and workplaces.

    Minister Anthony Browne, responsible for Technology and Decarbonisation, affirmed that “Safety has always been our top priority, which is why our latest guidance aims to improve the awareness of e-bike and e-scooter users in the trial areas where they’re authorised.”

    This announcement follows the Home Office’s advice on fire safety for e-scooters and e-bikes published last year. To further understand the safety of lithium-ion batteries used in e-cycles and e-scooters, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is presently conducting a safety study and taking enforcement measures when unsafe products are found.

    The extension of e-scooter trials until May 2026 will facilitate further insights across various areas, including usage, safety and environmental impacts, and the exploration of travel behaviour changes since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  4. Mintel UK bike market prediction expects £1 billion in 2024

    Comments Off on Mintel UK bike market prediction expects £1 billion in 2024

    Source: Cycling Industry News

    The UK bike market is anticipated to undergo a positive shift in 2024, as indicated by the latest forecast from Mintel. The projections highlight growth areas in e-bikes, second-hand bicycles, and increased female participation in cycling.

    According to the research, new bicycle sales are expected to climb 12% in 2024, reaching 2.1 million bikes. This marks a recovery from previous years’ 11% decline to 1.9 million bike sales. This represents a total 42% drop from the peak in 2020 when 3.3 million bikes were sold.

    The forecast also predicts a 15% increase in the value of new bike sales, reaching nearly £1 billion (£998 million) in 2024. This follows a 15% decline in annual sales to £868 million in 2023, continuing a gradual fall in yearly bike sales since 2020.

    However, the prediction of rising bike sales in 2024 may spark debate within the industry, with high inventory levels and consumer spending power combining to limit market potential. The market has witnessed notable difficulties, including high profile administrations, redundancies, buyouts, and rescue loans in response to challenging market conditions.

    Mintel’s report also anticipates growth in the UK’s e-bike market, with electric assist bicycles being the preferred choice for cyclists in the coming year. Approximately 19% of prospective bike buyers plan to purchase an e-bike, signalling a potential uptick in this segment.

    Of particular interest is the increasing interest in cycling among women aged 16-64, with over 40% of women under 45 and 34% of those aged 45-64 expressing interest in cycling. This is interesting to contrast with recent discussions on women’s cycling experiences in London.

    Furthermore, the report highlights a growing preference for second-hand bicycles, posing a potential threat to new bike sales. Half of current and potential cyclists indicate a greater likelihood of considering a used bicycle compared to the previous year.

    Mintel’s Category Director for Leisure Research underscores the impact of rising living costs on demand for new bikes, citing a recovery in demand driven by easing inflation, wage growth, and retailer discounts. The cost of living has also led 34% of Brits to cycle more to reduce spending on petrol and public transport. Looking ahead, continued investment in cycling infrastructure and a focus on sustainable travel are expected to further drive demand. Nevertheless, the expanding second-hand market, including major players like Halfords, presents a challenge to the growth of new bike sales.

  5. Delay to UK law on e-scooters criticised

    Comments Off on Delay to UK law on e-scooters criticised

    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.

  6. TRL to deliver SHARP helmet safety scheme

    Comments Off on TRL to deliver SHARP helmet safety scheme

    Source: TRL

    TRL has been awarded a contract with the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) to oversee and execute the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP).

    The consumer awareness initiative was established in 2007 to support the reduction of severe and fatal head injuries typically sustained by motorcyclists involved in road collisions. Despite only constituting 1% of road traffic in Great Britain, motorcyclists account for an alarmingly high 20% of road fatalities. Of these fatalities, around 80% were attributed to head injuries. While all helmets are required to meet minimum safety standards by law, SHARP surpasses these standards, providing an independent evaluation of helmet impact performance. Helmets are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5-star helmets offering the highest level of protection. Additionally, SHARP provides guidance on choosing a properly fitting helmet. This information aids riders in making informed decisions within their budget at the point of purchase.

    SHARP, aiming to assess approximately 30 helmets annually, draws on research findings from international studies on road traffic incidents involving motorcyclists. These studies replicate real-world accidents in laboratory conditions, allowing for the identification of impact locations, frequencies, and severities on helmets. By subjecting helmets to more demanding impacts than required by regulations, SHARP identifies helmets that offer superior performance in real-world collisions.

    Dr. Phil Martin, Head of Transport Safety at TRL, emphasised the significance of TRL’s involvement in the SHARP program, stating, “Our appointment on the SHARP program feels like a return to our roots. From developing the original SHARP protocols, to advising the DfT on updates to the test protocols to reflect evolving helmet designs, TRL has been involved with SHARP for almost 20 years. Over time we have collected better data and provided better insights about the head injuries suffered by motorcyclists in road collisions. This data not only reveals the cause and location of injuries, but also the long term effects, derived from decades of collision research and our experience in providing expert testimony for personal injury claims.

    While helmet manufacturers prioritise safety and consumers consider it as a critical factor in decision-making, not all helmets are created equal. Dr. Phil Martin added, “SHARP solves the challenge for consumers in identifying these distinctions, as price alone does not serve as an indicator. Since its launch, helmet manufacturers and retailers have embraced the SHARP star rating system. We have confidence that they will demonstrate their continued enthusiasm for the scheme by participating in the process to update and expand it.”

    As a social purpose enterprise, TRL operates the most advanced helmet impact test facility in the United Kingdom, conducting hundreds of motorbike helmet safety tests annually. They also manage the Road Accident In-Depth Studies (RAIDS) program for DfT, collecting detailed information about road traffic collisions, causes, and outcomes. This data underpins modern road vehicle safety standards and is essential for promoting road safety.

    With a consistent commitment to key safety initiatives like NCAP and Euro-NCAP, which assign safety ratings for new cars, TRL plays a vital role in enhancing road safety. Their pivotal position in the SHARP program ensures its continued impact in safeguarding the lives of motorcyclists on UK roads.

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

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

    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.”

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

    Comments Off on Over 50 organisations urgently call on UK Government to address e-scooter legislation

    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.

  9. E-scooters are reducing congestion and pollution in cities, UK study shows

    Comments Off on E-scooters are reducing congestion and pollution in cities, UK study shows

    Source: MMB

    E-scooters can provide significant benefits in congestion relief, time savings, emissions reduction, and cutting car use, according to research conducted by University College London (UCL), commissioned by leading UK shared e-scooter company, Voi.

    The latest study, by researchers from the Energy Institute at UCL, is one of the first academic studies into e-scooter use that incorporates a first-hand environmental assessment of the service and uses real-world trip data – and also takes into account the full lifecycle of transport mode emissions, from the factory floor to end life.

    Analysed data was taken from 190,000 e-scooter trips in Bristol, UK, over a three-month period in 2021 to examine Voi e-scooters’ environmental impact, emissions included.

    The types of e-scooter trips analysed included not only those that replaced motorised transport such as cars, buses, and taxis which see a much bigger reduction in emissions, but walking and cycling too, which create a small increase in emissions, resulting in an overall reduction of 45%.

    The study found that emissions savings are positive in scenarios with average or long vehicle lifespan (over 6,500km) and with average or better operational efficiency. Voi has invested in both areas to minimise its footprint and maximise environmental benefits for cities and communities.

    Researchers also found that e-scooters cut commuting times, especially during peak hours, helping to save users a total of 4,000 hours during the course of the study. In addition, e-scooter trips replaced more than 30,000 miles of motorised transport journeys, helping to reduce pollution and congestion in the city.

    Reducing car dependency and decarbonising urban transport is seen as a vital step in achieving the UK government goal of achieving net zero and improving the well-being and efficiency of cities.

    In addition, congestion has a significant economic burden, costing the UK economy around £6.9 billion a year, according to a 2019 INRIX study.

    Emmanouil Chaniotakis, one of the authors for this study has said: “Essentially, the findings suggest that shared e-scooters have the potential to provide significant benefits in terms of mode shift, congestion, time savings, and emissions reductions if implemented effectively. By replacing trips previously taken by more polluting modes of transportation, shared e-scooters can reduce emissions and congestion during peak periods.

    “Local governments should make sure that they invest in those shared e-scooter programmes which are well-regulated and show proof of good fleet management and maintenance, leading to high kilometre lifespan, responsible end-of-life practices and efficient operations.

    “Local governments should also introduce and monitor compliance regarding operations, use, manufacturing and end-of-life practices. To see greater impact, they could also work with e-scooter companies to incentivise more effective use (e.g. reduce fares over peak hours or demand-informed deployment that complement public transport and support active travel) to reduce congestion and emissions.”

    Jack Samler, Voi general manager UK, Ireland and France said, “It’s great to see the massive impact e-scooters can have in transforming cities, reducing emissions, and cleaning the air around us.

    “At Voi, we have invested in building durable e-scooters and ensuring they provide as many rides as possible to reduce their impact throughout their whole life cycle. We are committed to managing our operations as efficiently and sustainably as possible.

    “We aim to transform how people move in cities, freeing us from car dependency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, working all the time to reduce the environmental impact of our value chain and operations in the process.”

Campaign success

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Member profile

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.