Northern Ireland EAPC status.

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
45,753
22,305
It's my understanding that the Northern Ireland legislation exempting pedelecs is already in place, in fact has been since 1995. The issue is that the legislation refers to "an electrically assisted pedal cycle of such a class as may be so prescribed", however the class was never defined.
If you were correct the class is defined. The pedelec exemption is within the EU type approval order 2003/24/EC and its successor 168/2013 and the definition of a pedelec is spelled out in those documents exemption (h).

Here it is:

"(h) pedal cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of less than or equal to 250 W, where the output of the motor is cut off when the cyclist stops pedalling and is otherwise progressively reduced and finally cut off before the vehicle speed reaches 25 km/h."

However you cannot be fully correct for two reasons. Firstly your 1995 date precedes the two EU dates, so 168/2013 still has to be adopted. Secondly the 1983 EAPC regulation that you adopted in 1995 now has an amendment from 6th April 2015 that will also need to be adopted.

That's because the 1983 original EAPC regulation only allowed 200 watts and 250 watts is necessary now. It also didn't spell out that power depends on pedalling at the same time. In addition the amendment removed all weight limits and also extended pedelec permission beyond tricycles to quad bicycles.
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Danidl

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 29, 2016
6,406
9,113
69
Ireland
Unbelievable!!! Thanks a lot!!

What are you thinking of?
Now you`ve presented the Department with TWO options - they are now aware of the option of getting all these NI ebikes registered, insured etc - i`m sure they`ll think the income would come in handy.

Waited years for this opportunity.... now your correspondence will make them think...Yeah, well done :(
Hi Tommie, welcomeback. I don't think you need worry about the registration ,tax etc. Will not Ms Foster want too align herself with the mainland as close as possible? Putting a different regime in place , should be so crass as to be unthinkable.
 
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Danidl

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 29, 2016
6,406
9,113
69
Ireland
If you were correct the class is defined. The pedelec exemption is within the EU type approval order 2003/24/EC and its successor 168/2013 and the definition of a pedelec is spelled out in those documents exemption (h).

Here it is:

"(h) pedal cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of less than or equal to 250 W, where the output of the motor is cut off when the cyclist stops pedalling and is otherwise progressively reduced and finally cut off before the vehicle speed reaches 25 km/h."

However you cannot be fully correct for two reasons. Firstly your 1995 date precedes the two EU dates, so 168/2013 still has to be adopted. Secondly the 1983 EAPC regulation that you adopted in 1995 now has an amendment from 6th April 2015 that will also need to be adopted.

That's because the 1983 original EAPC regulation only allowed 200 watts and 250 watts is necessary now. It also didn't spell out that power depends on pedalling at the same time. In addition the amendment removed all weight limits and also extended pedelec permission beyond tricycles to quad bicycles.
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Except post January, the UK need not take EU legislation into account. I think the saving grace is that NI would not wish to differ from mainland UK.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
45,753
22,305
Except post January, the UK need not take EU legislation into account. I think the saving grace is that NI would not wish to differ from mainland UK.
As I posted earlier, the UK will almost certainly have to if it wishes to trade with the EU. It is a roads transport condition the EU tends to insist on and why the likes of Norway and Switzerland outside of the EU comply.

Of course road freight standards integration is a primary reason, but their transport harmonisation has always come as a package since the early EEC and EU days so the likes of pedelecs get included.
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UlsterEPAC

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 14, 2020
15
28
If you were correct the class is defined. The pedelec exemption is within the EU type approval order 2003/24/EC and its successor 168/2013 and the definition of a pedelec is spelled out in those documents exemption (h).

Here it is:

"(h) pedal cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of less than or equal to 250 W, where the output of the motor is cut off when the cyclist stops pedalling and is otherwise progressively reduced and finally cut off before the vehicle speed reaches 25 km/h."

However you cannot be fully correct for two reasons. Firstly your 1995 date precedes the two EU dates, so 168/2013 still has to be adopted. Secondly the 1983 EAPC regulation that you adopted in 1995 now has an amendment from 6th April 2015 that will also need to be adopted.

That's because the 1983 original EAPC regulation only allowed 200 watts and 250 watts is necessary now. It also didn't spell out that power depends on pedalling at the same time. In addition the amendment removed all weight limits and also extended pedelec permission beyond tricycles to quad bicycles.
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You are correct, the class is defined in 168/2013, and this had been adopted into Northern Ireland law, however only insofar as it defines an EAPC for type approval purposes. In other words it is legal to sell such vehicles in Northern Ireland, and that they do not require an MOT.

The difficulty, I think, comes from the fact that the Road Traffic Act 1995 and successive amendments required a definition of an EAPC. This would probably only require a one line amendment to link to the 168/2103 or previous definitions, but that has never been done.

In fact, Northern Ireland has never had the EAPC definition formalized, even when the 200 watts definition was in place in GB. After all, it took from 1983 to 1995 to even get it mentioned in legislation at all, never mind defined.

This mean't for example, that the Sinclair C5 (remember them?) was classed as a 3 wheel motor vehicle subject to registration, insurance etc. in Northern Ireland. I don't recall ever seeing one with a number plate, but there were never all that many of them about anyway!
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
45,753
22,305
You are correct, the class is defined in 168/2013, and this had been adopted into Northern Ireland law, however only insofar as it defines an EAPC for type approval purposes. In other words it is legal to sell such vehicles in Northern Ireland, and that they do not require an MOT.

The difficulty, I think, comes from the fact that the Road Traffic Act 1995 and successive amendments required a definition of an EAPC. This would probably only require a one line amendment to link to the 168/2103 or previous definitions, but that has never been done.
I believe your 1995 Road Traffic Act was the adoption of our 1988 RTA. The additional regulation for EAPCs in that is the imposition of a minimum 14 years age to ride one.

That means what you have missing is the 1983 EAPC regulation, as amended 6th April 2015. Adopting those alone will regularise the situation for fully legal use in N.I.

The original 1983 regulation only exists online as a summary of the salient points, consisting of four simple pages accessed from this link.

The 2015 amendment is available in full in a PDF from this link.

The CyclingUK organisation has also been fighting your cause, below is what they have to say about it:

The legal position in Northern Ireland
by Cycling UK Campaigns Officer Sophie Gordon

Can I ride my e-bike in Northern Ireland? Yes – but it’s a bit more complicated!

Unfortunately, when the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) regulations came into force in England, Scotland and Wales, they were never signed off in Northern Ireland. In practice, this means that all e-bikes in Northern Ireland are classed as mopeds rather than bicycles, irrespective of their maximum speed and power output.

To ride an e-bike legally in Northern Ireland, you must register your bike with the DVLA, tax and insure it, pass a theory and practical test to obtain a licence, and wear a motorbike helmet.

This doesn’t mean Northern Ireland is against electric bikes. In fact, promoting e-bikes is part of the Bicycle Strategy for Northern Ireland. The intention was always to change this legislation to bring it in line with the rest of the UK. However, the ongoing political impasse since early 2017 means that nothing can be implemented until a new Assembly (NI Parliament) is in place.

The frustrating thing is that there is nothing that can be done about it until the Assembly returns.

Cycling UK has been in contact with police forces in Northern Ireland and they have indicated that whilst it is illegal to ride an e-bike without complying with the regulations, it is not a priority of theirs to prosecute people who are riding considerately and they may in some cases use their discretion until the law is changed.
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nigelbb

Pedelecer
Sep 19, 2019
126
116
Hi Tommie, welcomeback. I don't think you need worry about the registration ,tax etc. Will not Ms Foster want too align herself with the mainland as close as possible? Putting a different regime in place , should be so crass as to be unthinkable.
Likewise Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill the deputy first minister will want to align herself with the Republic of Ireland & the rest of the EU as closely as possible.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
45,753
22,305
Likewise Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill the deputy first minister will want to align herself with the Republic of Ireland & the rest of the EU as closely as possible.
Fortunately where EAPCs are concerned, the UK and the EU are fully aligned and have been since 6th April 2015.
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sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
1,573
1,007
Fortunately where EAPCs are concerned, the UK and the EU are fully aligned and have been since 6th April 2015.
Or is it that GB and the EU are fully aligned, and it is just NI that are not? (I'm not sure exactly which part of the regulations the EAPCs constitute.) Anyway, I agree that all sides will (for once) want to do the sensible thing and align .
 

tommie

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 13, 2013
1,746
591
Co. Down, N. Ireland, U.K.
Received an email from the Chairperson of one of the Committees up at Stormont.

Chris has tabled a question to the new Minister for Infrastructure asking when her Department will update e bike regulations, to bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the United Kingdom.
We are hoping this will be progressed as a priority now there is a Minister in place. I will pass along the response when I receive it.

Hopefully this will be sooner rather than later as there`s `trouble in Paradise` already after only a couple of sitting Assembly days, apparently Boris and the SoS have pulled a fast one, and after they`ve done their sums they find themselves with a shortfall of £1bn on what was originally promised..........................why am i not surprised? :rolleyes:
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
45,753
22,305
Or is it that GB and the EU are fully aligned, and it is just NI that are not?
GB and the EU are fully aligned with the type approval regulation 168/2013 and identical usage regulations. In GB's case that's the 2015 amendment to our non-conforming 1983 EAPC regulation, the amendment to bring parity. There's also a regulation in the GB's 1988 Road Traffic Act which establishes a minimum 14 years to ride one, but the EU has no minimum age

N.I. is almost there.

You already have the 168/2013 type approval regulation. You have your 1995 RTA which duplicates our 1988 RTA but which the EU doesn't require.

What you are missing is the 1983 EAPC regulation which doesn't fully conform to EU rules, and it's 2015 amendment to bring it into line. All these need is a nod though by the Assembly, these are already fully drafted of course so copies can be just included in N.I. transport law.

There's a very silly side to all this. N.I. has transport devolved from GB, which is what has lead to this situation, but in truth you've never been devolved in law. The reason is quite simply that as EU members, your transport regulations are controlled by the EU and you are bound by their transport laws which have precedence. This has been the case since the earliest EEC and EU treaties.
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UlsterEPAC

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 14, 2020
15
28
Received an email from the Chairperson of one of the Committees up at Stormont.

Chris has tabled a question to the new Minister for Infrastructure asking when her Department will update e bike regulations, to bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the United Kingdom.
We are hoping this will be progressed as a priority now there is a Minister in place. I will pass along the response when I receive it.

Hopefully this will be sooner rather than later as there`s `trouble in Paradise` already after only a couple of sitting Assembly days, apparently Boris and the SoS have pulled a fast one, and after they`ve done their sums they find themselves with a shortfall of £1bn on what was originally promised..........................why am i not surprised? :rolleyes:
Glad to hear they might at least be starting the process, however, I won't get too excited just yet! I still think it could have been done even when the assembly wasn't sitting, like they were able to do with the MOT legislation.

It certainly would have been easier then than it will be now, since they will not only have to align the legislation, but also have to deal with what will happen with the e-bikes that have already been registered to comply with the current law.

There will have to be some legal process to allow them to revert to the same status as other e-bikes. Since these e-bikes are now officially mopeds, I don't think it will simply be a matter of removing the number plates and off you go!

The yearly tax will still be due, unless they are placed on a SORN, but then the rider could be fined for using it on a public road!

There doesn't appear to be any method to un-register a vehicle, other than declaring it scrapped, which means getting a disposal certificate from a registered dismantler - certainly can't use the bike after that.

So, I think they will need to legislate for this too, otherwise we could see registered e-bikes owners having to continue to tax and insure their bikes while others won't - this scenario would likely fall foul of anti-discrimination rules.

Before anyone says it, yes, I am fully aware they could use this as an excuse for not changing the law, but I'm quite sure it would have come out in the equality impact assessments anyway.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
45,753
22,305
This is live on the BBC N.I. politics site. Time is running out for today but not before MLAs have awarded themselves a £1000 annual pay rise.
Give me strength.
They probably view it as compensation for the pay lost during the latter part of the assembly not sitting, when their salaries were belatedly stopped.
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tommie

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 13, 2013
1,746
591
Co. Down, N. Ireland, U.K.
I would say it`s pretty well down the list of to-do`s.
It is Chris Lyttle that has the question tabled, he was `alledgely`well to the fore in pushing for this change a couple of years ago.
I see the Minister in charge has rejected the company Skoda in favour of a new Nissan Leaf...... only to be caught on camera cruising down the Bus lane,
Thank goodness for the salary rise then, she`ll be able to afford the fine
 

UlsterEPAC

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 14, 2020
15
28
I would say it`s pretty well down the list of to-do`s.
It is Chris Lyttle that has the question tabled, he was `alledgely`well to the fore in pushing for this change a couple of years ago.
I see the Minister in charge has rejected the company Skoda in favour of a new Nissan Leaf...... only to be caught on camera cruising down the Bus lane,
Thank goodness for the salary rise then, she`ll be able to afford the fine
Maybe the minister has passed the new legislation - she may have defined a pedelec as her electric Nissan Leaf, so she can legally use the bus lanes!

I see the minister has until 3rd February to respond to Chris's question - let's see what she comes up with...
 
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