| 4.3°C Belfast

Stormont minister Mallon in legal push to encourage e-bike users

Close

Nichola Mallon with Sustrans Interim Director Stephen Martin

Nichola Mallon with Sustrans Interim Director Stephen Martin

Michael Cooper

Nichola Mallon with Sustrans Interim Director Stephen Martin

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has confirmed she will bring forward legislation to encourage the use of electric bikes.

A law dating back to 1955 means that e-bikes in Northern Ireland are considered mopeds, and riders require a licence and insurance.

Those caught using them without the proper licence or insurance face being hit with six penalty points or a fine of up to £1,000.

In the rest of the UK anyone over 14 can ride one without a licence, tax or insurance.

The collapse of Stormont three years ago put paid to plans to change the law. But speaking yesterday during a visit to CS Lewis Square in east Belfast to meet active travel charity Sustrans, Ms Mallon said: "In the coming months I want to see what I can do to remove the barriers for people who want to do more walking and cycling as they go about their lives and amending legislation for electric bikes is something I plan to do as soon as possible.

"While it is currently legal to ride electric bikes here, this new legislation is required to simplify the requirements around registration, licensing and insurance."

Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle welcomed confirmation of the new legislation, but added: "This situation should not have been allowed to develop into the farce it became and which took so long to resolve."

Belfast Telegraph