Here are some key questions surrounding the issue of electric bikes

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A pedestrian has died after being hit by an electric bike in east London.

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A pedestrian has died after being hit by an electric bike in east London.

Here are some of the key questions around e-bikes:

What is an e-bike?

They are essentially regular bikes with the addition of a small electric motor to assist progress.

Police force with electric power bike
An electric bike (Barry Batchelor/PA)

Why are they useful?

The motor helps users to get up hills more easily, sweat less, and provide quicker acceleration from a standstill.

The bikes can provide a method of transport for journeys which are too far to walk or use a normal bike, but not long enough to drive or take a train.


People who suffer an injury or illness can use the bikes to allow them to continue cycling, rather than giving up completely.

Hackney cycle hit-and-run
The scene on Kingsland High Street, Hackney, after the cyclist collision (Matt Donald/PA)

How much do they cost?

The e-bike involved in the death of a pedestrian in east London was from the Specialized range.


They cost between around £2,000 to £9,000.

Where can they be used?

E-bikes are allowed on the same roads and paths as regular bikes as long as they meet certain criteria.

What rules must they abide by?

The motor must be of no more than 250 Watts, the pedals must be turning for electric assistance to be provided and the boost must cut out once the bike reaches 15.5mph.

Riders must be aged at least 14.

How safe are they?

Charity Cycling UK insists e-bikes do not pose “any greater risk” than conventional bikes.

How often are pedestrians killed by cyclists?

Three pedestrians died after collisions with bikes in 2016, according to Department for Transport figures. This is out of a total of 448 pedestrians killed on roads.

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