Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

Hello all!

I was wondering if you could help me with finding loopholes in UK law and ultimately making my morning commute faster, or cheaper, or both.

Are there any vehicles that aren't specifically mentioned or regulated by UK law?
I was looking for something small enough to weave in and out of traffic (like a bike), but fast enough to get me from Wolverhampton to Worcester (about 30 miles) in under an hour. Also, preferably something I can build myself (and as a bonus, electric) as I'm on a tight budget.

If I wasn't on a tight budget, I'd get licenced to ride a motorbike or fly a gyrocopter. Or get a Mitsubishi Outlander.

Here's what I've found so far:
Electric Bikes can't go above 15.5 mph, anything above that is a moped up to 30mph when it becomes a motorbike.
Paramotors are a bit risky as they're weather dependent. They're not a bad option, but I don't know if I'd get back home if the weather went bad while I was at work

A bit of background:
I have a diesel guzzling Ford Mondeo MK3 Estate that I need to keep because it has enough space for my infant twins. This is a serious drain in insurance and fuel costs. It costs £60 a week in diesel, so if I can find alternative transport for less, that would be ideal.

Alternatively, if I can make my car more efficient, that would be a fine option too.
I've looked at veg oil, but don't want to risk destroying my only transport by haphazardly modifying the engine. I've also looked at hybrid conversion, which is feasible, but finding a cheap motor and batteries is difficult.
Luckily, I'm a controls engineer, so I can do electrics and programming fairly cheap, but I understand combustion engines are still initially cheaper, so I'm flexible in that sense.


Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - RobJP

Yay. Bodge some sort of vehicle together with no crash protection, minimal roadworthiness. Then have what would be in your Ford Mondeo a minor accident, and come out of it crippled or dead.

Then you won't have to worry about the cost of your commute !

On the negative side, your infant twins won't have a father anymore - or at least, won't have one who's capable of doing anything other than dribbling whilst sitting in his wheelchair.

Does it seem quite such a smart idea if looked at it in that way ?

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

Fine, let's stop innovation because it might be dangerous. Let's do things the way we've always done them because it works and nothing can be improved upon. Let's let the governement decide what's "safe" and "roadworthy". Why should the government decide what's "roadworthy" when they can't even keep their roads carworthy?

Also, paramotoring is the safest form of aviation due to the fact that you literally have your parachute open at all times, and you have a backup, just in case.

I'm willing to look at all methods of transport and weigh up the cost, complexity and safety of them all. You can sit there, complacent, and I'll be the innovator, making the headlines.

I wanted this thread to be a lighthearted jab at the smothering regulations of the government, while also thinking outside the box and inspiring innovation. You have a valid point, but you didn't have to share it so aggresively. You could've just said "Safety First" or "Have you considered the danger involved?"

Also, just because I'm entertaining the idea of building it myself, why does it have to be a "bodge"? I already said I was an engineer, anything I make to transport myself will likely be overengineered to keep me safe (I'm thinking overalls with airbags attached).

Don't insult me by bringing my proficiency as an engineer and father into question. Just drive your stupid normal car and shut up.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - RT

Sounds like what you need is a motorbike, they're faster than 30mph, can weave in/out of traffic, insurable and traceable - it's a well-established category of vehicle so why you're looking for loopholes is beyond me.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

Because I don't have a motorbike licence, CBT, money for a motorbike, insurance and tax. I am planning to save up for an electric motorbike and all the training eventually though. I was hoping to save money on diesel to pay for it.

Also, motorbikes aren't particulalry safe either.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - mss1tw

Because I don't have a motorbike licence, CBT, money for a motorbike, insurance and tax..

I think I see a solution to your question. Can you tell what it is yet?
Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

Get more money?

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - RobJP

The Gov't doesn't decide what is safe - or not - in terms of a new vehicle type. Or at least, not directly. Those standards (and you're an engineer and, allegedly, a professional, so you should know about standards) are international, and have been well set up for a long time, and regularly get reviewed and modified.

So maybe the regulations are 'smothering'. They're also there to stop you from being dead or crippled in a 'normal' accident - hence why the number of road fatalities has dropped quite so dramatically over the last 2-3 decades, in spite of the roads being busier than ever.

To want to bypass all of those standard and, as I said, "bodge" something together that has no real crash protection - or none that has been tested to any real standards - smacks of idiocy. To then go on about your proficiency as an engineer, whilst still wanting to do the same - ignoring all good standards of workmanship and testing protocols - rather calls into question any such 'proficiency'.

As to paramotors being 'safe'. A few seconds worth of research found, on the BMJ (British Medical Journal) site, some accident statistics. Out of nearly 400 accidents, roughly 12% were fatal, 31% resulted in 'major' injuries, with the remainder being 'minor' injuries.

Think about that. You have an accident, 1 in 8 chance of being dead. 1 in 3 chance of 'major' injuries'.

Over 50% of the accidents involved pilots with considerable experience - 40+ flights or instructor level.

Over 70% of the accidents involved 'flat' terrain.

Finally, the number of paramotor accidents looks so low because so few people use them, compared to other types of transport.

My initial reply might have been excessively blunt. But your 'idea' really does look stupidly half-baked.

You've got to create and build an entirely new design, you've got to have somewhere to store it at home (and possibly at work), you've got to be able to repair and maintain it, you've got to ensure you don't breach any regulations (paramotors and restricted areas of airspace, for example), you've got to be adequately insured (if only for potential injuries or damage to other people or property). For a paramotor, you've got to have a restricted (to other people) area for take off and landing, you've got CAA issues ...

If it was so easy, then someone would have already done it and made a success of it. The fact that all the 'attempts' made on 'alternative transport', flying cars, the suchlike, so far have been utter failures, swallowing millions of pounds or other currencies, with nothing apart from a few prototypes or curiousities to show for it, says it all.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

To be fair, you've done your research on the safety statistics. I'll take your word for it and I won't ask you to cite your sources.

However, there aren't any CAA issues, my flight path wouldn't conflict with anyone, it's more than 5 miles away from all the airfields in the West Midlands and it's classed as an ultralight.
I don't even need training (my dad used to paraglide though, so I can get training). I could literally buy one today if I had the money and fly from Wolves to Worcester. I would probably contact the local councils and nearby airfields to let them know out of courtesy, but there's nothing they could do to stop me provided I abided by the relevant laws. One of the most desirable things was the ability to take off and land with very little runway. I have a big enough garden and car park at work. One of the reasons for wanting to go electric was the low maintenance of it due to fewer parts and simpler drivetrain, it's also quieter so I don't annoy people.

Also, I could easily design some crash protection. It wouldn't need to be tested by some international "standard". My test would be, if I crash and it doesn't hurt too much, it works.

I get what you're saying, if I was selling it to people, I wouldn't want to be sued. But I'm aware of the risks and I can mitigate them.

It might be half-baked at the moment, but you wait till I fully bake it! Then it'll be a nice baked good! Also, why do we bake things when the batter is always better!? It's because of salmonella, that's why...

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

Anyway, what do people think about powered rollerblades? The highway code is pretty vague about them, so that might be feasible.

I could do the paramotor, then if I get stuck in Worcester, I've got my powered rollerblades.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - RobJP

Bearing in mind that 'hoverboards' are illegal for use on the pavement or on the highway, I imagine 'powered rollerblades' will be exactly the same.

In case you were interested, 'hoverboards' are banned on the pavement under S72 of the Highways Act, and banned on the roads under S170(2) of the Road Traffic Act.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

The Highways Act one bans it from footpaths, which isn't an issue.

Which road traffic act are you reffering to? The only one with a section 170(2) I could find was the 1980 one, and that only mentions telling someone your name and address in the case of an accident or collision.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

One other idea. Riding a robotic horse, like Big Dog from Boston Dynamics.

Wouldn't need to be as complex, just no wheels, only legs. Don't think the government have defined that yet, as it's bonkers.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Vitesse6

Nothing to stop you riding an electric bike above 15mph, the speed restriction is only when driven on the motor alone.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

True, I would also get thinner. But I'd need to keep an average speed of 30mph to keep my commute to an hour.

Maybe I'll just get another job, but I do so love it here.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

I'm going to try and find the specific law that prohibits this actually. I have an idea.

What if, instead of powering the wheel directly to over 15mph and breaking the law, I augmented my legs to pedal the bike to something like 30mph?

I'll look at the feasability...

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

Jumping stilts can get me up to 20mph apparently...

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

Some sort of powered exoskeleton would be cool. Would only need to build the legs, obviously. Wallce and Grommet comes to mind though.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - SteVee

Motorcycles cost more to run than most car drivers think - especially once you start to add in the cost of helmets, decent riding suits etc. I wouldn't want to do 30 miles each direction each day on a small bike or scooter. Something like Suzuki's DL650 (V-Strom) would be my choice - less than 3000 second hand, about 60MPG and simple enough to service yourself.
Some motorcycles are astonishingly expensive to service (eg Ducatis) and home-service can destroy the value.
Personally, I'd buy a 2nd-hand i10 or Picanto and just rack up the miles.

Flying sounds good - but you need to fly under Visual Flight Rules, and you're going to get too many days when that doesn't work.

Being fired out of a canon would be good - but I doubt that 30 mile range is available; and you'd need one either end. Quite quick though.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

I like you, you're getting into the spirit of it!

Also, thanks for the bike advice, there are a lot of factors that people miss when they see a guy weaving in and out of traffic and think "I wish I could do that".

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Avant

1967 Ford Anglia perhaps? - or it that too weaselly a solution?

It may not just be the Irish who would say 'Don't start from Wolverhampton'! Assuming you live there and enjoy the job in Worcester, you might find house prices cheaper nearer to Worcester but further from Birmingham. If it's the other way round, I agree commuting will be a pain.

I doubt if there's any method of transport that is as cheap as you want but stiil safe. And as a husband and father you have particular need to be safe - that was Rob's point. Saving up for a cheapish, small but efficient car like a Hyundai i10 or a Picanto (both with long warranties) as Steve suggests, coiuld be a runner for you.

As moderator I'm going to move this to the Motoring section, as it's of more general interest.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Theophilus

Perhaps this thread was posted a day early?

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - RaineMan

Samuel Morey did patent the internal combustion engine on April 1sr 1826.

On a serious note a friend's husband was killed riding his motorbike - he had no licence and probably never had any training. Don't consider riding illegally.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - badbusdriver

You do actually get electric bicycles which can do 50km/h (just over 31mph), you just cant 'legally' ride them on public roads or pavements. look up cyclotricity dual power bikes.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - SLO76
Problem solved... m.youtube.com/watch?v=bKHz7wOjb9w
Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Oli rag

At least Colin had his safety tie on!

How about building a large monowheel? I think a gyro in the bottom for stability would be good, although i'm not sure how this would affect the weaving through traffic bit.

Don't suppose you know anyone with a tunnel boring machine?

You could also do your own version of Hyperloop and beat the Americans at their own game.

Edited by Oli rag on 01/04/2017 at 08:57

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - TedCrilly

I think the clue to all this is in the thread title.

If this as yet undesigned vehicle is as intended to be uncategorised in UK law can it then be legally classed as a vehicle and will it be legal to use on public roads and places. Something of a paradox wouldnt you say. For highway use I believe numerous legalities kick in when the vehicle becomes 'powered'. A rather effective catch-all.

There is of course also the issue of 3rd party insurance, not sure what the intentions are with this respect.........or are you hoping to find that big a loop hole you won't have to carry it?

Good luck with that one.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - SteVee

I should have realised that I have actually solved this problem for my own commute of about 25 miles. I now use the internet & telecommute. It's fast, cheap and very fuel-efficient - and good business sense. It's relatively safe too.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

I used to be able to, but the work was boring. Just PLC programming, HMI and SCADA stuff.

I've recently had a slight career change, and now I'm in bespoke automation. So it's a bit more hands on, more site work, more fun. It's my dream job really, it's just that it's 30 miles away. And I can't move house because we have 2 newborns and our parents are very close and we need all the help we can get from them!

Luckily, there's lots of parts to scavenge from the bins of a bespoke automation company.

I'm thinking of building my own hydrogen fuel cells. Then I can harvest hydrogen from water fairly easily. The problem is, if you look up how to make your own fuel cells, you get a bunch of videos on electrolysis. I know how to split the water, I need to know how to harvest the energy when putting it back together! And don't get me started on the guys who are just adding the hydrogen to the air intake on their ICE cars! Idiots!

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

It doesn't necessaily need to be a "vehicle" per se.

I'm looking for the cheapest way to get me transported 30 miles in 1 hour or less.
I'm not particularly bothered whether it's by land, water or sky. There are rules and regulations that need to be worked around, or otherwise not be much of an inconvenience (like wearing a helmet or special hi vis or something), or be so vaguely worded in law that I can feasibly make a case in court should it come to that.

I can fly to work on clear days using an ultralight. I reckon it would pay for itself in a few months. Especially if it was electric.

I can drive to work, but the average speed of 30mph takes a huge knock in traffic. And it's not particulalry cost effective. Motorbikes can weave through it, but as has already been pointed out, there's a huge setup cost in both time and money.

I haven't yet looked at the waterways, there's canals all over the place here...

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - RobJP

Forget water. Strict speed limits are in place. They vary from 4mph to (I think) 8mph on rivers. Canals the limit is 4mph. If passing other boats, anglers, etc it is 2mph.

Whilst the limits are not routinely enforced, if complaints come in of someone regularly using a section at speed then you can expect to get done.

In addition, a single lock on a canal would screw your commute by 20-30 minutes.

The fine for breaking the speed limits, or for creating 'excessive wash' or navigating 'without reasonable consideration of others', is up to £1000.

Basically, walking would be quicker most of the time.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - TedCrilly

Canals now?....interesting.

Boat registration and licensing, insurance, safety certificate, mooring charges........or did you think they were free to use and unregulated.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

No, I thought they would be regulated more heavily. That's why I hadn't looked into it.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Purple_Dan

I thought as much, that's why I hadn't really looked into it.

It's such a peaceful walk along a canal, I would quickly complain if someone was doing 30-40mph on a jetski!

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - NGR

Fully fared recumbent bikes are capable of a sustained 30mph.
Get a trike, add battery power boost and a honda petrol generator to keep the battery charged.

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - Sofa Spud

Thinking even more outside the box - do you have the kind of job where you could work at home 1 or 2 days a week? If so that would save a bit of money and you'd have 2-4 extra hours of free time!

Uncategorised Vehicles in UK Law - glidermania

Was this thread an early April Fool!?


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