Glacially slow consultation process to harmonise UK e-bike laws with EU inches forward. Other pedal cycle regs still on hold.

DfT’s e-bike regs up for consultation. Again.

The Department for Transport has today re-opened the consultation on proposed amendments to the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) Regulations 1983 and Pedal Cycles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1983.

The DfT proposes to remove some restrictions placed on e-bikes by harmonising aligning with the lastest European classification standards. "The aim of these proposals is to widen the choice of vehicles for manufacturers, retailers and consumers whilst maintaining or improving safety standards," says a statement from the DfT.

The previous consultation was in 2010.

The DfT subsequently commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory to "gather, generate and expert-review evidence from a wide variety of sources … on the forces and pressures influencing pedal cycle construction, sale and use in Great Britain, and provide DfT with costed, practical and appropriate options for legislative change." 

However, promises to bring forward the other pedal cycle regulations remain "under review." The DfT said: "Some mismatches between point of sale and in-use requirements for pedal bicycles were identified, and other points concerning technical standards were considered. These will remain under review and specific proposals for change will be made as soon as practicable."

The new consultation proposes that e-bike motor power for standard bicycles is increased by 50 watts to 250 watts. The electric assistance cut-off speed is to be increased by half a mile an hout to 15.5 mph. All the weight limits are removed. Vehicles with more than 3 wheels would be permitted.

The consultation period started today and will run until 8th December.

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