Illegal e-bikes seized as police and council launch crackdown
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
A clamp down on illegal e-bikes involving Cardiff Council and South Wales Polices has resulted in the seizure of bikes with an estimated value of over £22,000.
The majority of the e-bikes confiscated had defective brakes.
The council and police, which conducted one of their operations to clamp down on cycling through Queen Street on Thursday July 27, seized 17 e-bikes which had top speeds of between 30 and 42 mph.
Use of Cardiff city centre’s busy pedestrianised street by cyclists, which is banned, is an issue the local authority and police have been trying to stop for years.
A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “Any electric bike that exceeds 15.5mph or has a throttle on the bike is classed as a motorcycle and not a bicycle.
“To drive these vehicles, the vehicle must be registered with the DVLA, the driver must have a motorbike licence and the vehicle must be insured.”
Over the course of their operations, the council and police have pulled over and spoken to 1,300 people, 70% of whom were riding illegal electric bikes.
The council spokesperson added: “All the vehicles had a throttle, and the majority of the bikes seized had defective brakes, which is exceptionally dangerous.
“Since the operation has taken place, the city centre wardens haven’t seen any illegal electric bikes being used in the city centre.
“These operations will continue, so if you are driving an illegal electric bike in Cardiff and you are caught, your bike will be seized by the authorities.”
Pictures taken by the council in a social media post on last week’s operation show officers speaking to food delivery riders on electric bikes.
Just Eat have no couriers who they directly employ in Cardiff.
Couriers in Cardiff either work directly for Just Eat’s independent restaurant partners, and therefore the deliveries are managed and fulfilled completely independently from Just Eat, or are self-employed independent contractors.
The company has a code of conduct for couriers and requires them to hold a licence valid for the category of vehicle they are driving as well as the relevant insurance.
Couriers are also required to comply with The Road Traffic Acts and the Highway Code.
A Deliveroo spokesperson said: “Deliveroo condemns the use of illegal e-bikes and supports Cardiff Council in tackling this issue.”
Uber Eats was also approached for a comment.
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