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The 60km/h ‘death trap’ e-bikes are wreaking havoc on the streets of Britain

Cycling groups say they could make a big boost to public health by encouraging people put off by hills to cycle more often, while also helping to reduce carbon emissions through saved car journeys.

“Half of all trips by e-bike replace a trip that would otherwise have been by car,” according to the Cycling Union.

“In addition, e-bikes are used for longer journeys than conventional bicycles, so their useful contribution is correspondingly greater, while at the same time helping us travel healthier.”

However, the rising popularity of e-bikes has led to confusion about how powerful they can be and where they can be used.

In several cases shared by police on social media, riders have been stopped and their e-bikes seized after they tried to ride the two-wheelers on highways.

Iain Stewart, a Tory MP and chairman of the Transport Select Committee, said he was concerned that e-bikes, which can seriously injure people in collisions, were increasingly being ridden on cycle paths and sidewalks.

He said: “Whether they are legal or illegal, it is a safety issue for both pedestrians and normal cyclists.

“And if e-bikes are not legal on the road, but are advertised as such, it indicates a lack of proper enforcement of the law.”