Councillor calls for action on ‘E-bikes’

UUP's Arnold Hatch
UUP's Arnold Hatch

The Secretary of State should pedal up to the mark and apply GB legislation on E-bikes in Northern Ireland, a local councillor has said

Pointing to the example of a local business already suffering as a result of the legal anomaly, Ulster Unionist Councillor, Alderman Arnold Hatch, called on James Brokenshire MP, to enact legislation to bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK.

Alderman Hatch said: “The Secretary of State should step in and ensure the necessary legislative changes are made to end the farcical situation where it is illegal to ride electric bikes in Northern Ireland without a licence, yet in the rest of the United Kingdom you can travel about without any such documentation.

“We have already seen the impact of this on a local business where a young man, Clive Anderson, showed some entrepreneurial spirit and set up his own business – Live Bikes – but is now having to cease operations because electric bikes are effectively classified as motorcycles under current legislation in Northern Ireland.

“The lack of agreement between Sinn Fein and the DUP in restoring devolved government means we are lagging further and further behind the rest of the United Kingdom not only on big issues such as the economy, health and education, but also on what should be much less complicated issues such as E-bike legislation.

“In the absence of a fully functioning Executive at Stormont, I am calling on the Secretary of State to step in and ensure that the change in legislation for electric bikes - which was enacted in GB over 20 years ago - is finally applied in Northern Ireland and resolve this farcical situation.”