Tag Archive: UK

  1. 70% of British adults consider e-bikes to be a better tool than EVs for reducing carbon emissions

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    Source: BikeIsBest

    Research by BikeIsBest and the University of Westminster’s Active Travel Academy shows that the majority of attitudes in the UK toward e-bikes are positive. The study outlines a range of benefits and carbon reduction potential in comparison to electric vehicles (EVs).

    Conducted by YouGov, the study demonstrated broad support for e-bikes as a means of reducing carbon – even amongst those with no intention of purchasing one. Of adults who did not yet own an e-bike, one-fifth were considering purchasing one in the future, while 67% of participants stated cost as the largest single obstacle preventing purchase.

    The study touches on the potential of government policy to address this common barrier, such as subsidies or help-to-buy schemes. Whilst there is no national subsidy for e-bikes in the UK, there is for electric cars and motorbikes, despite these vehicles delivering lower health and carbon reduction benefits than e-bikes.

    The full study can be accessed here.

    The BikeIsBest campaign and Active Travel Academy highlight the following e-bike benefits in their latest report:

    Carbon emissions

    • According to research by Philips et al., “e-bikes are substantially lower emitters of carbon across their lifecycle when compared to both fossil-fuel and electric cars.”

    While e-bikes perform the same as battery electric vehicles in producing 0kg Scope 1 per km, research by Fyhri et al, states that they have substantially lower Scope 2 carbon emissions than electric vehicles due to their lower electrical power requirements. Additionally, when considering their full lifecycle emissions, including manufacture, maintenance, and disposal activities, e-bikes are substantially lower emitters of carbon in comparison to both fossil fuel and electric cars. According to the report prepared by #BikeIsBest and the Active Travel Academy, achieving widespread use of e-bikes as well as conventional bikes could replace three million car trips to work, and 10% of carbon emissions from commuting.

    Health

    • As stated in the transportation research by Castro et al., “E-bike users and users of conventional bicycles have comparable overall levels of physical activity, because e-bike users take longer trips.”

    The health benefits of e-bikes are similar to those of conventional bicycles. The physical activity required to ride e-bikes is less than that of bicycles; thanks to electrical assistance, riders can sustain a moderate cycling speed at a comfortable level of exertion across a range of otherwise challenging riding situations. Adding to this, e-bikes emit less particulate pollution than electric cars and thus have a positive impact on local air pollution.

    Economy

    • “Enabling more people to commute to work using e-bikes would increase life-expectancy and reduce absenteeism, with a potential health economic benefit of £2.2 billion per year,” according to the #BikeIsBest report.

    E-bikes present potential economic benefits besides those associated with improved health and reduced carbon. According to the #BikeIsBest and the Active Travel Academy report, in 2019, road congestion imposed an average of 115 hours of lost time to the average UK driver. This congestion is largely due to the lack of road space, which could be freed up if more space-efficient solutions were adopted, such as e-bikes. This not only applies to cars, but also, according to research by Verlinghieri et al., the use of (e)-cargo bikes could counteract even more congestion by replacing LGVs.

    Widening cycle use

    • According to the #BikeIsBest report, “because of their potential to reduce the physical exertion of cycling and therefore overcome barriers of fitness, topography, and proximity of housing to employment and other activities, users of e-bikes can encompass a wider diversity of age, gender, physical fitness and economic demographics than conventional bicycles.”

    E-bikes make it easy and practical for more people to make a wider range of trips by bike. A Swiss study found that middle-income groups were just as likely to use a conventional bike as an e-bike, both high- and low-income groups were more likely to use an e-bike (Rérat, 2021). This suggests that whilst e-bikes may appeal to higher earners as an additional transport option, they are also used by those on lower incomes as an alternative to more expensive transport options. As stated in research by Philips et al., e-bikes have been identified as a means to alleviate the economic vulnerability to increased motoring costs for those living in areas in the UK of high car dependency and low income. Adding to this, the research also suggests that e-bikes could appeal more to people of different ages and genders – as opposed to the predominantly male appeal of conventional bicycles.

  2. Transport for London will add an e-bike fleet to the city’s shared cycle scheme

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    Source: POLIS

    The TfL bike hire scheme’s pricing will now mirror that of London bus fares, with the addition of e-bike options.

    The transport scheme in London allows individuals to ride buses and trams in the city for 60 minutes, at a price of £1.65. From 12 September 2022, a fleet of 500 e-bikes will also become available for hire in 30-minute increments. Additionally, seven new docking stations will be opened in the Southwark neighborhood.

    Reaching more than 1.3 million bike rentals, July 2022 was the busiest month on record for the TfL Santander Cycles bike rental program. Since September 2021, each of the 11 months has surpassed the prior month’s record high, demonstrating a steady increase in usage. The extension is therefore predicted to be extremely well-received.

    The new pricing scheme is as follows:

    • A new flat rate of £1.65 per 30-minute ride, with the existing daily access fee to be eliminated.
    • A new and flexible monthly membership option for £20 per month, which will allow customers to take unlimited 60-minute rides per month.
    • An annual membership including unlimited 60-minute rides, which is double the current time limit, to be provided with an increased fee of £120, reflecting increased operating costs and inflation since the last change in 2013.
    • Kick-off booking is available to registered users for £3.30 per 30-minute ride or £1 per 60-minute ride for monthly and annual members.
  3. LEVA-EU member Rad Power Bikes launches UK website

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    Rad Power has recently announced the launch of a new UK-only website for customers in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In 2022, the brand’s priority is to improve its processes and create a better experience for customers, and this new initiative aims to do exactly that! 

    The details:

    The new website; radpowerbikes.co.uk is built to serve customers in the UK. Products, prices, and inventory levels are specific to deliveries in these regions, dispatching from a Manchester-based warehouse. 

    What does this mean for Rad Power customers? 
    With this new addition to UK operations, Rad Power will shorten the delivery timeframes for in-stock products from eight weeks to 15 working days on all UK deliveries. 

    The radpowerbikes.eu site will now only serve customers with delivery addresses in the EU.

  4. UK Government launches new investigative branch for traffic incidents, including those related to e-scooters

    Comments Off on UK Government launches new investigative branch for traffic incidents, including those related to e-scooters

    Source: Micromobilitybiz, A. Ballinger

    The Road Safety Investigation Branch (RSIB) has been established to provide insight into incidents occurring on the UK’s roads

    A specialized team of inspectors will aid in making the streets safer while advising on how new technologies can be implemented across the road system.

    The RSIB will monitor all electric and self-driving vehicles, as well as the safety trends of e-scooters. From here, UK ministers and police will obtain independent safety recommendations that may influence the future of road safety policy.

    Roads minister Baroness Vere shared, “The UK may have some of the safest roads in the world, but tragedies still happen and any injury or death on our road network is one too many. That’s why we’re establishing the road safety investigation branch, so we can boost safety for road-users even further and also bring safety measures in line with other modes of transport and the future of travel.”

    Until now, the UK road network has lacked such an independent body; air, rail, and maritime networks all have long had established investigative branches. The Department for Transport plans to include the launch of the RSIB in the upcoming Transport Bill, which will also create a new vehicle category for electric scooters, paving the way for the legalization of private-use e-scooters on public roads.

    Read the Gov.UK announcement here.

  5. 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.  

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 
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