Arrests made and electric bikes seized in operation to keep Cardiff’s city centre streets safe

Eleven electric bikes were seized and eight arrests were made in Cardiff city centre on Thursday, 5th October, as part of a joint operation targeting people riding modified bikes which can reach speeds of more than 40mph.

Cardiff Council's City Centre Warden Team took part in the operation which saw South Wales Police make two arrests, and the UK Visas and Immigration Service arrest six people.

A spokesperson for Cardiff Council said: "As a council we actively encourage people to cycle bikes but what we can't have is people driving illegal, modified electric bikes in pedestrian areas putting pedestrians at risk.

"Each vehicle that was seized by South Wales Police could do speeds up to and beyond 40mph, yet they were all only fitted with brakes for a regular pedal cycle. It's unacceptably selfish behaviour and it's important we crackdown on it.

"During the operation one of our wardens was allegedly assaulted by a bike rider who has been charged with assault, carrying a bladed article and possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply. Moving forward we can see that episodes like this only reinforce the need for our City Centre Warden Team to wear body cameras and I will be taking this up with the relevant officers to authorise their use."

Electric bikes which have a maximum output of over 250 Watts, a hand throttle, or exceed speeds of 15.5mph are not classed as a pedal cycle, but a moped or a motorcycle, and must be registered with the DVLA, insured and taxed and the driver must wear a helmet.

These vehicles can only be driven on private land and not on the public highway as they are a danger to pedestrians, especially those with disabilities.

Sergeant Gareth Davies, from South Wales Police, said: "While it's not illegal to own an e-bike with an electrical assistance or power output exceeding 15 mph and 250W respectively, you can't ride it on the public highway as a regular bike without registering and insuring it like a moped.

"This includes both off-road and road rights, such as byways and bridleways. You can only ride unregistered and uninsured electric bikes on private land with the landowner's permission.


Wednesday, 11 October 2023