BAGB operations directer Steve Garidis responds to controversial letter from transport minister Jesse Norman

Bicycle Association responds to transport minister’s road rules letter

The Bicycle Association has responded to the letter sent to cycle organisations by transport secretary Jesse Norman. This letter was sent yesterday to a number of cycling organisations as well as BAGB, including Cycling UK, Sustrans and British Cycling. The initial part of the letter asked cycle organisaions to "highlight the importance of cyclists adhering to the rules set out in the Highway Code."

However, the greater part of the letter concerned technical regulations, including reiterating that all cycles should be fitted with front brakes. Norman sent the letter in response to the death of Kim Briggs who was killed after she walked out in front of Charlie Alliston in 2016. He was riding a fixed-wheel bicycle without a front brake which is unlawful under Regulation 7(b) of the Pedal Cycles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1983. Alliston was convicted of the 1861 offence of "wanton and furious driving" and, earlier this month, he was sentenced to 18 months in a young offenders’ institution.

Norman’s letter also contained a long paragraph on the rules for brakes fitted to electric bikes, which differ slightly to the regulation above.

BA operations director Steve Garidis told BikeBiz:

“The BA, as the UK cycling industry trade body, plays an active role in developing the high safety and quality standards that cycling products must meet to be sold legally. With regard to bicycles and electric bicycles we work very closely with the DfT at national level, and also with the relevant bodies at EU level, to clarify the legalities around their use on and off the public highway."

He added: "We regularly communicate with our members to provide the latest developments on these standards, regulations, and the industry’s responsibilities. Most recently we have worked closely with DfT officials to clarify new rules around the sale of electric bicycles and been active in alerting our members and the wider industry."

Garidis stressed that the "level of awareness and compliance is very high in the industry – and certainly amongst our members – but we will be further highlighting the relevant construction and use regulations around front brakes as part of our regular communications.”

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