E-Bikes rules/Law

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
Oldjohnw
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby Oldjohnw » 7 Apr 2019, 8:46pm

BrightonRock wrote:These rules and regs in my opinion are way behind the curve. If any government is serious about replacing short under 10 km car journeys with electric scooters or ebikes then you have to be thinking competitively, in terms of journey time.

I think 40km/h, or more realistically 50 would broaden the appeal and uptake of the technology immeasurably.
To stick your head on the sand at 25km/h is plain stupid. If you ask me..


Fair point. But we then enter licencing/registration/insurance/testing territory. Otherwise anyone with the cash could just get a pretty serious bit of kit and potentially cause havoc. 25kph is not, IMV, stupid although of course the precise figure is open to argument. Bear in mind that this is not the speed limit: you can go as fast as you like, just not with power.
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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 7 Apr 2019, 9:22pm

Bikes with such performance are already available with electric engines.

They're called motorcycles, and despite the sudden proliferation of electric powered lightweight models sales are still falling, so the appeal clearly isn't sufficient to tempt legions of riders over to them, at least not so far.

Cunobelin wrote:Off-Road and "Private Land" are two different legal distinctions. If you wish to use it only in the grounds of your stately home, and never leave past the gates, that is on "Private Land" and technically OK. However as soon as you get on to a path, road or Byway, it is Off-Road, and your machine is illegal


It is not who owns the land that determines whether or not it is a "private place" for the purposes of our traffic regs, but rather who has lawful access to it at any given moment.

For example, a privately owned farmers field opened up to host a car boot sale on a Sunday would no longer be a private place, and has now become "a place open to the public by payment or otherwise." Despite belonging to Farmer Giles, while it is legitimately accessible to the public it is a public place, and car drivers have to be licensed, insured, and not drive carelessly or dangerously.

Conversely, the staff car park at your local council headquarters is likely in public ownership. Nevertheless, it is open to staff only and no other persons are permitted to enter, so despite being publicly owned for the purposes of the RTA it is not a public place.

If the public have legitimate access at the time in question, regardless of ownership, it is a public place.
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toontra
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby toontra » 7 Apr 2019, 10:12pm

Lance Dopestrong wrote:Bikes with such performance are already available with electric engines.

They're called motorcycles, ....


Well indeed. As far as I'm concerned if you want to go over a certain speed on a motorised vehicle (e.g. 16mph) then you should get a moped/scooter/motorbike together with a licence and insurance. Anything over that speed on an e-bike creates a legal loophole.

brynpoeth
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby brynpoeth » 22 Apr 2019, 9:17am

Read an advertorial in the local paper, a middle-aged journalist who doubtless could have used a standard cycle took a test ride on an e-bike offered at € 2500
The salesperson put the switch to 'turbo', 'that is the most fun' he enthused, 'it helps one reach 25 kmh in a few seconds'
The article described using the machine on narrow shared paths that I use a lot where 10 kmh is plenty

But if one can do 25 kmh...

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Mark R
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby Mark R » 22 Apr 2019, 12:22pm

IMO the 25kph/15.5mph restriction is punitive and make e-bikes a less attractive alternative to short/medium car journeys.

This is no doubt exactly the way the motor lobby would like things to stay.

Wouldn't 20mph be about the right the right level for assisted top speed? At least then ebike riders could ride in the 20mph limits without car drivers hassling to overtake.

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Cugel
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby Cugel » 22 Apr 2019, 12:49pm

brynpoeth wrote:Read an advertorial in the local paper, a middle-aged journalist who doubtless could have used a standard cycle took a test ride on an e-bike offered at € 2500
The salesperson put the switch to 'turbo', 'that is the most fun' he enthused, 'it helps one reach 25 kmh in a few seconds'
The article described using the machine on narrow shared paths that I use a lot where 10 kmh is plenty

But if one can do 25 kmh...

Minus One!


The roads are quite well designed to handle traffic of mixed velocities. Of course, it does require the faster users to be considerate of the slower users. This is generally the case, in my experience.

So-called shaed paths can be inherently dangerous, as the nature of walking (especially with children and dogs) is not the same as the nature of cycling. They do not mix easily. When the shared path is also "narrow" this multiplies the problems ten-fold.

I've taken to using the shared paths of Brechfa Forest, as you know. These have dedicated MTB tracks (no walkers, cyclists or horses allowed) as well as bridlepaths (MTBs discouraged) and logging roads of gravel (wide enough for a logging wagon, horse, cyclist and a pair of walkersd with dogs all stood abreast).

These are fine places to share. Part of the reason is the wide spaces. Another is the low usage. A third is good manners, especially from log wagon drivers but even the (very few) MTBers I've encountered.

There's shared paths and there's shared paths. The very skinny sort provided by planners for cyclist and pedestrians thick in their numbers are useless bordering on dangerous.

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 22 Apr 2019, 1:49pm

Mark R wrote:IMO the 25kph/15.5mph restriction is punitive and make e-bikes a less attractive alternative to short/medium car journeys.

This is no doubt exactly the way the motor lobby would like things to stay.

Wouldn't 20mph be about the right the right level for assisted top speed? At least then ebike riders could ride in the 20mph limits without car drivers hassling to overtake.


4MPH isn't going g to make a massive impact to journey time. In any case, nothing stopping someone pedalling at 20mph if they want to.

And as long as we ride bikes, cars will try to overtake us. Adding 4MPH won't change that one bit. I rode home from town last evening at an average speed a little North of that and plenty of cars still went at it as if it were an Olympic sport. You're either keeping with traffic flow, or you ain't.

But if people want to ride a little faster than a legal ebike, but a little slower than a motorbike, there are electric mopeds that have been on sale for years. The licence/CBT process is simple to navigate, or even already taken care of for those with a full car licence. That there is a dearth of these machines on the road suggests there is little demand.
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kwackers
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby kwackers » 22 Apr 2019, 2:01pm

Lance Dopestrong wrote:That there is a dearth of these machines on the road suggests there is little demand.

Not too surprising.

Ignoring the license issues the real benefit of an electric bike is that they don't have red tape. Minimal servicing, no MOT, insurance or license conditions. No mithering from the man.
Just stick it in the garage and get it out every now and again and it's all good.

As soon as you need an MOT and all the bumf that goes with it the appeal dries up.

For most people I actually think those little electric scooters would be much better than bicycles. Even simpler, fold up to nothing so can be carried on trains and up stairs without issues.
They should be allowed to fall into the ebike category, no reason they can't be used on roads etc.

millimole
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby millimole » 22 Apr 2019, 6:53pm

Mark R wrote:

Wouldn't 20mph be about the right the right level for assisted top speed? At least then ebike riders could ride in the 20mph limits without car drivers hassling to overtake.


20mph would be fine where there are 20 limits, but for most urban roads with a 30mph limit they could be a problem.
I say this on the basis of my experience of riding a Tomos moped a few years ago with a top speed of about 32mph (if I was lucky) - it was a vehicle which encouraged every MGIF driver to try to overtake at every opportunity. It was probably the scariest 2 wheeled machine I've ever ridden!

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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby kwackers » 22 Apr 2019, 7:11pm

millimole wrote:
Mark R wrote:

Wouldn't 20mph be about the right the right level for assisted top speed? At least then ebike riders could ride in the 20mph limits without car drivers hassling to overtake.


20mph would be fine where there are 20 limits, but for most urban roads with a 30mph limit they could be a problem.
I say this on the basis of my experience of riding a Tomos moped a few years ago with a top speed of about 32mph (if I was lucky) - it was a vehicle which encouraged every MGIF driver to try to overtake at every opportunity. It was probably the scariest 2 wheeled machine I've ever ridden!

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my gormless idiot phone.

I once took my motorbike for a service and they lent me a scooter - 250cc so not too shabby.
It was easily faster than most traffic around town but the amount of grief I got on it was unreal. Folk cutting in front, trying to overtake when they couldn't. Absolutely stupid.
Ride my real motorbike at the same speeds and suddenly common sense is restored.

It's all about perception, one was a motorbike the other a scooter. Same footprint, same speeds and no reason for a change in behaviour.

brynpoeth
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby brynpoeth » 22 Apr 2019, 7:43pm

Funny, when driving I am very careful to give motorised two-wheelers plenty of room, even to protect them where possible
Cyclists are better drivers I think :wink:
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BrightonRock
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby BrightonRock » 24 Apr 2019, 8:42am

Mark R wrote:IMO the 25kph/15.5mph restriction is punitive and make e-bikes a less attractive alternative to short/medium car journeys.

This is no doubt exactly the way the motor lobby would like things to stay.

Wouldn't 20mph be about the right the right level for assisted top speed? At least then ebike riders could ride in the 20mph limits without car drivers hassling to overtake.


If I'm being honest I would prefer to, if the road was clear enough and safe enough, be able to switch to a turbo mode and do 40/50mph on an ebike. I wouldn't mind taking a simple test and licensing it, if it means I could ditch my car completely for journeys under 20 miles.

I'm sure the speed restrictions will be looked at seriously if ebikes really do go mass market. Especially if cycle routes are upgraded, I think tootling along at 30 on mostly closed cycle routes would present no major problems.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby [XAP]Bob » 26 Jun 2019, 1:19pm

kwackers wrote:For most people I actually think those little electric scooters would be much better than bicycles. Even simpler, fold up to nothing so can be carried on trains and up stairs without issues.
They should be allowed to fall into the ebike category, no reason they can't be used on roads etc.


Lights and reflectors can't be mounted at the required height.
But I'm also unsure when the 'pedelec vs throttle' arguments started.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby kwackers » 26 Jun 2019, 2:14pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:Lights and reflectors can't be mounted at the required height.
But I'm also unsure when the 'pedelec vs throttle' arguments started.

Don't let them out at night!

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Re: E-Bikes rules/Law

Postby mattsccm » 28 Jul 2019, 9:25pm

If ebikes have increased speed then surely they need the same restrictions as mopeds. Of course the take up will be smaller but so is the use of moped compared with what it would be if no licencing, insurance and training was needed. These are there to protect 3rd parties as much as the user. Why should the engine fuel make a difference?