It will become possible to register e-bikes in Northern Ireland from Monday, as is required by law, according to officials.
The Department of Infrastructure told the Belfast Telegraph a technical issue, which prevented the registration of e-bikes in Northern Ireland, is being resolved.
In a statement, it said: “The process for registering Electrical Assisted Pedal Bicycles is the responsibility of the DVLA in Swansea, the licensing authority for the UK.
“The Department was made aware of a technical issue with the registration and was advised by DVLA that this would be resolved quickly. DVLA has informed the Department they will be able to register EAPCs for use in Northern Ireland from Monday August 14.”
Earlier the BBC’s Radio Ulster Nolan Show said the Department of Infrastructure was aware people in Northern Ireland were currently unable to register their e-bikes despite being required to do so by law.
“We have written to them, and they continue to keep you in the dark about this, despite the fact that some of you have spent thousands of pounds on these bicycles. Despite the fact that the department knows that some of you are getting the runaround,” said Nolan.
Appearing on the programme was Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle, who said that he had been contacted by Halfords who advised customers to either stop using their e-bikes or to use them without their electrical motors.
“I received an email overnight from Halfords explaining that quote ‘works are underway to bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK’. Obviously they are not too au fait with the politics in Northern Ireland, that’s going to take some time,” said Mr Lyttle.
Halfords previously confirmed that it would be withdrawing e-bikes from sale in Northern Ireland.
Confusion about the legality of using e-bikes was sparked after presenter Stephen Nolan attempted to buy one.
Due to a law dating back to 1955 in Northern Ireland electric bikes are considered to be mopeds and require a users to have a motorcycle licence, insurance, to wear safety gear, and to have a number plate displayed.
Laws in England, Scotland and Wales were changed in 1995 to reflect that newer technology allowed engines to shrink and the electric-assisted bikes to grow in popularity.
Belfast Telegraph Digital