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Not faster than 25kmh on Dutch bike paths

10th January 2015

Dutch omafiets, Utrecht

The maximum speed on bike paths in built-up areas in the Netherlands should be 25kmh (15.5mph), according to Fietsberaad, the body responsible for cycling policy in Holland. Anyone wishing to go faster, for example on a racing bike or the new generation of electric bikes, should use the road. Dutch website NOS.nl recently reported on the issue.

The reason for the new advice being published is the appearance of the 'speed pedelec'. A combination of the rider pedalling, and the electric motor, means that a speed of 40kmh (25mph) can easily be achieved on these machines. This could be much faster than the speed of other cyclists using the bike paths, and might lead to accidents.

Fietsberaad's Otto van Boggelen told radio programme 'This is the Day' that the organisation already receives complaints about pelotons of riders in towns and recreational areas. He believes that such riders should use the road, not the bike paths.

Fietsberaad recognises that enforcement is a problem, since speed is not generally checked on bike paths. Nevertheless, they do believe that it is worthwhile to set a maximum speed.

The advice only applies to bike paths in built-up areas. Outside built-up areas, mopeds are allowed to use paths, and the maximum speed should be 40kmh.

There is a risk that speed pedelecs could in the future be classified as mopeds, with the consequence that riders would be obliged to wear a motorbike helmet.

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