The letter stated that the EU regulations that are going to affect electric bikes in the UK should be opted out of. The stance that the Association have taken has attracted some criticism from Europe, notably from the President of the Two Wheel Retailers Association, which is based in Belgium.
The Belgian Association have recently been joined by the British Electric Bicycle Association and the chairman of this group, David Miall, has said in an open letter that he supports throttles being introduced to electric bikes.
The letter states, “Having a throttle on electric bikes makes them safer as they wobble less during takeoff and it also helps them to get moving faster. Having a throttle means that people can start these bikes without having to use the pedals and this can get them going to a safe speed in a faster time.”
The Bicycle Association strongly oppose this opinion, saying that having throttles on electric bikes will confuse the distinction between cycles and other types of vehicle. The Association has said that the new legislation from Europe is not clear and that does not highlight what exactly the differences are between bicycles and other motorised forms of transport. Based on this confusion, they want to see the UK government opt out of the rule change from Europe.
The Bicycle Association is headed by Philip Darnton and he has said, “We are concerned about the definition they use to define these types of vehicles. They also suggest that the maximum wattage of these bicycles should be increased four times. When you consider this, along with the introduction of a twist throttle, then this really confuses the distinction between what is a bicycle and what is not.
“It also increases the risks for those on the road as the acceleration and the speeds that these vehicles are capable of can be more dangerous. There is no clarification in the law about whether these devices can be driven by people of any age and it is not clear where they fit in the Highway Code. We don’t want to see this kind of deregulation take place.”