petition to increase the speed limit

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
45,943
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Agreed. The point I was making regarding tax/ VED is that by not paying it, cyclists (and horse riders) are viewed as freeloaders by the average road user.

This in turn fuels the belief that they are second-class road users who must stay out of the way of the "proper" vehicles.
That is changing though, it has changed enormously in London and surroundings since the huge expansion in cycling here since the Millennium. I think you'd probably be surprised by the extent of the courtesy often shown to cyclists now. As cycling expands further it will continue to improve and deaths and injuries also reduce in consequence. Our London record number of deaths in a single year was 22 many years ago when only a quarter as many cycled. Last year it was 13 and has been as low as 8 with some 138 million commuting journeys alone completed each year, without all the other types of cycling, utility, club, Mountain, BMX etc.

And of course there's also a benefit to cyclists from all the electric cars we have now, including mine, no longer gassing them or in some cases deafening them as they exert cycling effort.
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ColinJTod

Pedelecer
Jul 21, 2020
30
22
Todmorden
And of course there's also a benefit to cyclists from all the electric cars we have now, including mine, no longer gassing them or in some cases deafening them as they exert cycling effort.
I don't like loud vehicles, but I worry that electric vehicles may become too quiet! My hearing isn't brilliant so there is a risk of me not hearing very quiet cars coming up behind me.

Are there any rules forcing manufacturer's to fit warning devices to ensure at least some minimum noise level? A soft hum would probably be enough.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
45,943
22,588
I don't like loud vehicles, but I worry that electric vehicles may become too quiet! My hearing isn't brilliant so there is a risk of me not hearing very quiet cars coming up behind me.

Are there any rules forcing manufacturer's to fit warning devices to ensure at least some minimum noise level? A soft hum would probably be enough.
Actually louder than a soft hum. There are worldwide rules making them have a pedestrian warning sound all the time with a variation in the UK. That's due to our law that Horns, called in law an audible means of warning of approach, cannot be used betwen 11.15 pm and I think 7.30 am. Of course that also stops e-cars making any approach sound between those times, so ours had to have a stop switch! However from next year that no longer applies and all new ones will have to have unswitched sound.

The sound on mine only operates up to 19 mph since above that speed someone will be hit before they hear it anyway unless the noise level is intolerable.

In practice a sound isn't necessary for many reasons. All e-car drivers like me are very aware of our silence and take great care to avoid startling anyone on roads and pavements. Pedestrians aren't able to distinguish any one car from the general background vehicle noise. Enough pedestrians jaywalk to make driver ever aware of that happening in urban areas. Many i.c. cars, especially luxury ones, are even more silent that many e-cars. Today's traffic levels mean there's so much traffic noise that its always there.

In fact in my third year now of driving my Nissan Leaf I've never had the warning sound switched on and have never found it necessary or got remotely near to any risky situation. My air-con usually makes more noise!

In the USA the drivers of the two most popular e-cars there often have them take out the warning sounds fuse to stop it's irritating noise which sounds totally unnatural.

And that's the daftest aspect, none of them are remotely car like sounds so no-one is likely to think of them as a car approaching.
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RoadieRoger

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2010
620
108
Now that we are leaving the EU and their beloved level playing field we need to be bold and derive our own rules on Pedelecs etc. Start by scrapping the Pedelec Classes L1e and L1e B that few understand and just have the normal Pedelec , but allow a maximum speed of 20 mph . This would allow the E scooters to be a class below and limit them to 15 mph . Then allow the 50 cc Mopeds to exceed the silly maximum speed of 28 mph and cap it at 40 mph .
We are about to make new laws and have wholesale changes after December 31st, so start as we mean to go on . I have two Classic machines a 1982 Suzuki Roadie 50cc that is restricted to 30 mph which cannot keep up with modern traffic , even in Towns . My other a 1982 Suzuki X7 caused the Law to be changed, as it was too fast for the 250 cc Class . It is capable of 100 mph but I won`t be doing that on it , in 10 years I have not passed 70 mph . Which brings me to the point that just because something like a Pedelec could be designed to reach 20 mph , it doesn`t mean that all Riders are going to be riding everwhere at that speed as some seem to suggest .
The Covid Pandemic and Brexit gives us a perfect opportunity to sort out the Laws on small powered machines and we ought to do it soon .
 
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TedG

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 8, 2017
382
448
70
Lisburn Co Antrim Northern Ireland UK
"flecc,
I think you'd probably be surprised by the extent of the courtesy often shown to cyclists now."

Have to wholehearted agree with this comment.
Been cycling for 61 years now and I have seen a marked and distinctly noticeable difference in the amount of space and respect currently being shown to cyclists.
Even after the "lockdown" period when traffic is now building again, when I am following my wife I can see deliberate actions to be patient and to give a decent wide berth.
Very welcome.
 
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sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
1,699
1,131
The Covid Pandemic and Brexit gives us a perfect opportunity to sort out the Laws on small powered machines and we ought to do it soon .
I agree, but that should not involve any changes to the rules for unregulated bikes (no tax, insurance, registration, helmets).

Hopefully (probably a pretty forlorn hope) there will be better real infrastructure for bikes (and even low power scooters); the current limits are very appropriate for this.
 
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mike killay

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2011
2,819
1,432
I agree, but that should not involve any changes to the rules for unregulated bikes (no tax, insurance, registration, helmets).

Hopefully (probably a pretty forlorn hope) there will be better real infrastructure for bikes (and even low power scooters); the current limits are very appropriate for this.
I think that we should keep very quiet and not awaken a slumbering giant (Yamamoto)
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
45,943
22,588
Now that we are leaving the EU and their beloved level playing field we need to be bold and derive our own rules on Pedelecs etc. Start by scrapping the Pedelec Classes L1e and L1e B that few understand and just have the normal Pedelec , but allow a maximum speed of 20 mph .
I don't see any need since everyone is already taken care of and you have your L1e classes wrong. Both are Moped classes and not pedelec classes. L1e-A is the Low Powered Moped class and no-one understands it because none have ever been made. It's just a provision in law in case anyone does want to make one. L1e-B is the 50 cc moped class into which we slot the high speed pedelecs because we've never made a separate law to allow them. There's no need to increase pedelec speed to 20 mph since anyone wanting to be faster can ride a high speed S class pedelec instead.

This would allow the E scooters to be a class below and limit them to 15 mph .
They can be allowed whatever law the authorities wish, they are nothing to do with pedelecs and not related in any way.

Then allow the 50 cc Mopeds to exceed the silly maximum speed of 28 mph and cap it at 40 mph .
50ccs doesn't have a limit and can be ridden at any speed up to the national speed limit with the right driving licence and age, and someone with those can buy more powerful mopeds instead if they prefer.

We are about to make new laws and have wholesale changes after December 31st,
No we aren't with road traffic law, the DfT have no plans for changes and the current EU style vehicle laws have been written into UK law now via the Great Repeal Bill.

The Covid Pandemic and Brexit gives us a perfect opportunity to sort out the Laws on small powered machines and we ought to do it soon .
No, because you've made no case for that. What you've actually done is not ask for increased speed limits but merely asked for our driving licence laws to be changed to being much more liberal. Since they are widely used international ones that won't happen since that interchangeability is too valuable as it is for everyone.
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mike killay

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2011
2,819
1,432
Personally, I don't want to go more than 15 mph.
I have a car for that.
I also have a full motor cycle licence if I wanted to buy a motor cycle.
I just prefer ambling along enjoying the countryside and find that 10 mph is actually more suitable than 15 mph.
 

GSV3MiaC

Pedelecer
Jun 6, 2020
47
23
Perhaps we should be lobbying the other way .. cars/motorbikes restricted to 80 MPH, no more than 100Kw,
unless you qualify for a 'supercar' license which requires a serious driving test, full safety harness, and several £k per year road tax. Mind you, HGV drivers (in the UK at least) already have a lot of that, and still flatten other road users on a fairly regular basis.
 
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TedG

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 8, 2017
382
448
70
Lisburn Co Antrim Northern Ireland UK
Mind you, HGV drivers (in the UK at least) already have a lot of that, and still flatten other road users on a fairly regular basis.
In the second section of my working life I was a Class One HGV driver hauling steel for 20 years all around the (now defunct) steel works of the UK.
I covered on average 66,000 miles a year during that time and never "flattened anyone". I had and still have a clean licence despite my extensive use of 2, 4 and 18 wheels.
I am now retired and potter around on my e-bike but my reputation is still intact.
 

GSV3MiaC

Pedelecer
Jun 6, 2020
47
23
In the second section of my working life I was a Class One HGV driver hauling steel for 20 years all around the (now defunct) steel works of the UK.
I covered on average 66,000 miles a year during that time and never "flattened anyone". I had and still have a clean licence despite my extensive use of 2, 4 and 18 wheels.
I am now retired and potter around on my e-bike but my reputation is still intact.
Like everything else it is the 1%, or 0.1%, that causes the problems. Glad it was never you who cut me up in their 18 wheeler.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
10,558
4,343
in 4 months i have had 2 ppl crash in to me both on race bikes with rim brakes both could not stop in time to avoid hitting when i had managed to come to a complete stop.

one was crossing over the road where there was a island for the lights and just smashed straight in to be and head butted my helmet and just bounced off me on to the floor with his head cut open as hit the visor first.

he picked his bike up with a bent front wheel and ran away, haha.

next guy was down canal path he came bombing round a blind corner on a race bike with rim brakes going about 25mph and again managed to come to a complete stop as i know to slow down for that bend and he clipped my right handlebar edge and went fkn super man mode flew over the handle bars and landed flat like a pancake he was 1ft from falling in the canal with the bike wrapped round his legs.

he was knocked out cold for a few mins and me and another guy managed to pull him out the verge on to the path.

managed to get him to the bridge as the bridge operator was there and had a land line to phone a ambulance.

i then clocked his bikes handle bars as thought they was pushed round in the crash and he had drop bars on upside down with the brake levers at the front pointing straight up fkn nutter there was no way he could brake if at all and never seen that b4 lol.

they took him away as had head impact and chest pain and his front wheel was also fooked to the point it would not go round but imo could be fixed.

his dob was 1953.

all he had on was shorts if he done that and hit the concrete path he would have been dead.

in 5 years that i have had my ebike i will only run you over if you see me coming and point blank refuse to move like some unstoppable force that is invincible and the few that tried ended up on there ass.

since march i have had more near miss crashes since i have had my bike esp down that canal path as it is rammed every day i was even racing a electric skateboard today fkn thing was flying like a plank off wood with 4 wheels going at least 23mph and he was pretty **** hot on it tbh but had no full face helmet and more of a bmx style one.

was something like this.
 
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
11,138
4,296
57
West Sx RH
I remember as teens in the late 70's we used to ride with our drop bars up turned with the brakes inverted.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
10,558
4,343
I remember as teens in the late 70's we used to ride with our drop bars up turned with the brakes inverted.
why tho it makes no sense at all doing that was it a fad or something?
 

jimriley

Pedelecer
Jun 17, 2020
61
38
I fail to see the case for this "layered approach, things cant change".
Bikes can and do travel over 15.5 mph regularly. Always have. Not a problem then or now.
We need to get people out of cars and consequent pollution into various electric vehicles.
Pedelecs are more efficient in the use of electrikery carrying one person than using a car.
We have new priorities that justify different rules.

Ugg and Bogg circa 10000 bc "whats that Bogg" "a wheel Ugg" "oohh (sucks teeth) dangerous, don't do that thousands will die because of it, I prophesy", Bogg "yes but look at the benefits", "nah!"
 
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
11,138
4,296
57
West Sx RH
why tho it makes no sense at all doing that was it a fad or something?
Yep it was a fad, all kids/teens were doing so at the time.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
45,943
22,588
Ugg and Bogg circa 10000 bc "whats that Bogg" "a wheel Ugg" "oohh (sucks teeth) dangerous, don't do that thousands will die because of it, I prophesy", Bogg "yes but look at the benefits", "nah!"
It's not others wearing the blinkers Jim, it's you.

Nothing is stopping anyone over 14 riding a pedelec.

Nothing is stopping anyone over 16 riding a high speed pedelec.

So what are you complaining about? Please tell us.

I fail to see the case for this "layered approach, things cant change".
Bikes can and do travel over 15.5 mph regularly. Always have. Not a problem then or now.
Actually it is a problem, a very big one. Back in the post WW2 years as I well remember when over half the population utility cycled, they commonly rode at around 10 mph like the Dutch, rarely faster than 12 mph. And like them they rarely hurt themselves. Road use cycle helmets hadn't been invented back then because they weren't necessary. Now British cyclists often race around like Tour de France wannabees at 20 mph or more, so several thousands are seriously injured and well over a hundred killed every year. They need to slow down and ride sensibly instead of this silliness, not be assisted to go faster.

We need to get people out of cars and consequent pollution into various electric vehicles.
Pedelecs are more efficient in the use of electrikery carrying one person than using a car.
So Jim wants a dictatorship in which everyone has to ride a pedelec? I'll give you my version, unpowered bicycles are more efficient than pedelecs not wasting any electricity, so lets ban pedelecs as well as cars and make everyone ride ordinary bikes as they once used to

We have new priorities that justify different rules.
No we haven't, the priorities for the environment havent changed in over 50 years. As important as it is for there to be change, that can only be done realistically. Just because a handful of people in very few countries have a bee in their bonnet about pedelecs doesn't mean the rest of the world has to follow them, however desirable that might be.

They are by far the great majority so they'll just tell you to get lost as they drive their (sometimes electric) cars away.
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sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
1,699
1,131
jimriley said:
We have new priorities that justify different rules.

No we haven't, the priorities for the environment havent changed in over 50 years.
I agree with almost all flecc says above, but I think jimriley was correct on that one. Or at least qualified as
We should have new priorities that justify different rules.
Sadly the need for new priorities is still not as widely accepted as it needs to be.

Also, the new priorities may well justify different rules, but I don't think faster pedalec speed limit is one of them.
 
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Gavin

Pedelecer
May 11, 2020
243
125
Back in the post WW2 years as I well remember when over half the population utility cycled, they commonly rode at around 10 mph like the Dutch, rarely faster than 12 mph. And like them they rarely hurt themselves.
You can't make comparisons with the post-war period without recognising the differences between then and now. Fewer road users, much shorter commutes to work and much slower vehicles (with the exception of the odd supercharged Bentley and Vincent Black Shadow). The world was a very different place and (with the exception of poverty/ austerity) probably a much nicer one too.


They need to slow down and ride sensibly instead of this silliness, not be assisted to go faster.
Speaking as a lifelong motorcycle rider and ex-racer, I've spent my life having this debate. Speed doesn't kill, uncontrolled speed does. The faster you go, the more thinking you have to do. We just need to encourage all road users to think more.

Pootling around at 10mph is lovely on a sunny Sunday with my Mrs, but I'm not going to do that on my 18-mile (each way) commute to work or I'd be out of the house for 16 hours a day. Most people (myself included) want to do the right thing, but are fundementally lazy and will always take the path of least resistance.

The government need to make it easy for me (and millions of people like me) to do my commute by bike in a reasonable timescale, and that means going faster (or working closer to home). If they don't, I'll carry on commuting in my 35mpg van or my 45mpg motorbike, and that's no good for anyone....
 
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