Panel: Allow bicycles and mobility devices on footpaths, not electric bicycles

Panel: Allow bicycles and mobility devices on footpaths, not electric bicycles
Nee Soon GRC MP Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim heads the 14-member Active Mobility Advisory Panel formed last July to develop rules and a code of conduct for cycling and the use of personal mobility devices.
PHOTO: ST/BH

A panel formed to develop rules and a code of conduct for cycling and the use of personal mobility devices has recommended that bicycles be allowed on footpaths.

Personal mobility devices (PMDs), excluding electric bicycles, as well as personal mobility aids like motorised wheelchairs, should also be allowed on footpaths, but with a speed limit of 15kmh, said the panel.

PMDs refer to kick-scooters, electric scooters, electric unicycles and electric hoverboards.

Previously, bicycles and PMDs were not allowed on footpaths.

The 14-member Active Mobility Advisory Panel formed last July, is chaired by Nee Soon GRC Member of Parliament Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and released its findings and proposals in a report on Thursday (March 17).

It is the culmination of work which included an extensive public consultation, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and public surveys.

Where cycling and shared paths such as Park Connector Networks are concerned, the panel recommends that PMDs, personal mobility aids as well as bicycles and electric bicycles be allowed to be used, but with a speed limit of 25kmh.

The panel also recommends that only bicycles and electric bicycles be allowed to continue being used on roads.

While the panel said it supports allowing bicycles and PMDs on all paths, it recommends setting a maximum weight, size and speed limit, in order to further enhance safety for pedestrians.

Specifically, all bicycles and PMDs used on public paths and roads should not weigh more than 20kgs, must not exceed 70cm in width and motorised devices must not go faster than 25kmh.

Strong feedback from focus-group discussions raised concerns on the dangers of illegally-modified electric bicycles. This is why the panel proposes that the Government consider registering such bicycles to facilitate identification and enforcement against errant riders.

The panel also called for stronger public education and enforcement efforts to raise public awareness on safety and to ensure adherence to rules.

"The Government should also continue to build dedicated cycling paths to further reduce conflict and improve safety," said the report.

In a statement released on Thursday (March 17) by the Singapore Road Safety Council, chairman Mr Bernard Tay said: "Beyond a set of clear and consistent rules, education and adoption of these rules is equally important."

He added that the council will continue to improve safety on roads and work with the "various agencies to inculcate good safety practices amongst all road users".

The Ministry of Transport said in another statement that it will study the panel's recommendations and issue a response in due course.

sujint@sph.com.sg

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