Associations Call for Tailor-Made Road Measures for Speed Pedelecs
AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – The trade association RAI and Dutch Cyclists’ Association want speed pedelecs to be allowed to ride on cycling highways and along roads with intensive and fast-moving car traffic. The two associations call for tailor-made measures as all speed pedelecs are obliged to ride on regular roads per 1 July 2017.
Per next month speed pedelecs in the Netherlands (and probably in numerous other EU member states as well) will no longer be legally allowed to ride on all cycle paths in the country. They will only be allowed on those bike paths on which mopeds are also allowed. In order to tap on the potential of speed pedelecs and to ensure the safety of all cyclists, RAI Association and the Dutch Cyclists’ Association call for tailor-made measures, both for cycling highways and for cycle paths.
In the Netherlands, there is a network of approximately 400 kilometres of cycling highways; next to thousands of kilometers of regular cycle paths. These are fast and comfortable cycling routes, which connect cities, in order to allow commuters to cycle to work faster. Since the introduction of speed pedelecs, it’s possible to cover larger distances faster. Currently, most speed pedelecs are still equipped with a blue license plate for low-performance mopeds, but as of 1 July all speed pedelecs must be registered as mopeds. This will send speed pedelec riders from the cycle path to regular roads. Also, as a result, some cycling highways will no longer be accessible to speed pedelecs. “An incomprehensible and unintended effect of the law, affecting more than 10,000 cyclists”, RAI Association chairman Steven van Eijck states. “The speed pedelec has a lot of potential in tackling congestion and is very well suited for commuting. We must maximize this potential rather than obstructing it.”
RAI Association and the Dutch Cyclists’s Association want a specific exemption for speed pedelecs on those cycle paths that offer sufficient capacity. Director of the Cyclists’ Association Saskia Kluit says “Cycling highways in the Netherlands, which are now only accessible for cyclists, are wide and safe enough to allow speed pedelecs as well. The Arnhem-Nijmegen route is a good example. Also within urban areas there are cycle paths along large and busy road roads, which are wide enough. Tailor-made solutions are needed. With a distinct traffic sign, we can grant this exemption per cycle path.”
In cooperation with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and other interested parties, RAI and the Cyclists’ Association now want to create a map of suitable and unsuitable cycle lanes.