At today's AGM of the Bicycle Association, held in a Department for Transport building in London, president Philip Taylor (pictured) presented an update on the CEN standards for bicycles.
These EU-wide standards have long been planned to supercede current UK-specific bicycle product safety standard BS6102. The mechanism for bringing the standards into UK law is for Parliament to retire BS6102 in favour of adhering to the General Product Safety Regulations.
Sitting underneath the General Product Safety Regulations (GPRS) are the CEN standards. Legislation in the UK - as in most of the rest of the EU - will state that the GPRS calls for the use of the highest standards, and these are the CEN standards. Using this mechanism, CEN standards can be modified at will without a requirement for fresh legislation.
The CEN standards for bicycles and various accessory groups - which have taken many years to agree on - will become applicable in the UK by January 2009. The Department for Transport has agreed to introduce the necessary legislation to retire BS6102.
It's expected major retailers such as Tesco and Toys R Us will have sold all remaining stocks of products marked with BS6102 long before the January 2009 deadline. Independent bicycle retailers will need to plan for the obsolesence of much of their existing stock.
The Bicycle Association's technical consultant Alan Cater was not present at today's AGM. He was in France, working on draft CEN standards for BMX bikes.
His updates were read out by Philip Taylor.
As well as the CEN legislation news, Cater's report included updates on EPAC regulations (these will be formalised within the next two months); and a progress report on the CEN standards for cycle trailers (these will be published in 2010 with consultation from November 2008).