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View Poll Results: Should cyclists pay road tax?
Yes, they should pay tax like any other road user 4 6.56%
Yes but only if ringfenced for cycle infrastructure 9 14.75%
No, cyclists should get everything they want for free 48 78.69%
Voters: 61. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 22nd, 2012, 03:31 PM   #1
Octoman
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Should cyclists in London pay some kind of road tax?

This is a topic that has been cropping up repeatedly in the media over the past few months.

The mayor isn't considering it at the moment but he did concede on the radio the other week that if the revenue raised could be ringfenced for building proper, segregated cycle lanes it might have some merit.

I doubt politicians would do this - they all want to paint themselves as ultra green, eco friendly cycling fanatics. however, this might be the answer to getting some real progress on the cycle infrastructure here.


Bicycles and cars don't mix. In fact, slow moving transport and fast moving transport dont and shouldn't mix. Cyclists in London are in constant danger and pose a menace to other road users.

We could raise funds from cyclists to build them the segregated cycleways they need. Once they are in place cyclists should only be allowed to use roads where no alternative exists. Everyone ends up with what they want, everyone is a winner.

Agree?
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 04:08 PM   #2
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Why should cyclists pay road tax when motorists haven't paid it since 1937?
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 04:25 PM   #3
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I aint answering a poll worded this way!
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 05:48 PM   #4
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The poll is a bit biased. But no, they should not pay tax. Why? Because it helps reduce cars on the road and helps reduce congestion on the buses and trains. The more cyclists the better.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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Unbelievable. A new low for this forum.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 06:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DarJoLe View Post
Unbelievable. A new low for this forum.
That's a bit of a hysterical response.

Obviously cyclists shouldn't have to pay any sort of road tax.

The one thing I would say: cyclists in this city do have a unique arrogance that I haven't felt in any other major city. Very often they claim the moral high-ground, which frankly is a repulsive thing to do. But more importantly, they often treat the road as if it were always their right of way: ahead of cars, ahead of busses, ahead of pedestrians. In other cities I've been to, cyclists would never dream of cutting up pedestrians or cars; or cycling two abreast in a narrow road; or ringing their bell in a narrow road indicating that pedestrians should get the fuck out of their way. They have a particular fondness of cutting up taxis. And also manoeuvring around parked cars without looking behind (and even when they do look and see a car, they proceed with the manoeuvre regardless). Finally, it irks me when they weave through cars to the front a jam, park themselves in front of the queue, and when the lights change they take so long taking off that only two or three cars get across the junction before the lights change back.

The result is a sort of standoffishness: cyclists vs. everyone else.

I cycle in every city apart from London. Partly because the city is ill-provisioned, but I think the reasons detailed above are contributing factors. Beijing, Shanghai, and Hanoi: by all accounts more dangerous cities to cycle in than London, and yet I felt much more comfortable because the etiquette was easily legible and felt right. London on a bike is like going to war, and I don't care if the chicken or the egg came first, the attitude of cyclists has something to do with it.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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which came first indeed?

Is Berlin the safest city to be a cyclist?
By Stephen Evans
BBC News, Berlin


Berlin is enjoying a cycling boom, with miles of new cycle paths and more than half a million bike journeys made every day - but controverisally, a helmet is rarely seen.

...............

I have cycled in London but gave it up after too-many rants at a white van. But in Berlin, it is a joy. Firstly, the city is pretty flat, and secondly, there are endless cycle tracks. Thirdly, everybody has a bike - so car-drivers are probably also cyclists in their other lives and so keep their eyes wide open.


The test of whether cycling has really taken off in a city is who does it. In New York, it is urban warriors, young men usually, who zip aggressively between lanes.

In London, it's a bit of that, but also, I suspect, eco-zealots who are asserting their credentials - though the Boris bike scheme may be taking it more mainstream.

In Berlin, it is the people. Old ladies cycle in stately and elegant fashion, old men pedal so slowly that it's a wonder the bike doesn't fall over.

Young mothers tow toddlers in trailers - I followed one on a crisp autumn morning down Bernauerstrasse.

What you really need to get people like me on their bikes is a general atmosphere of safety and tolerance of cyclists.


I haven't ridden a bike in Melbourne, for example, though it's an Australian city I know well. It has a bike-hire scheme, but officialdom insists on helmets - with the result that few people ride bikes or what they call their deadly treadlies.

And in Berlin, the authorities are benign. It's true, there are regulations against cycling on the pavement - but I've been chided only once, and then by a member of the public and not the police.

Penalties are usually only imposed if someone is hurt.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 06:36 PM   #8
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a bike tax could be used to reduce numbers of cyclists on the street and to subsidise the cost of one-way signs, kerbs, extra traffic signals and street clutter to make the streets more accessible to SUVs which are actually brilliant at protecting the occupants* in collisions above 30mph and make ideal platforms from which to show your family the wonderful sites of London in perfect safety and comfort.

Some more expensive models even allow you to filter out the health damaging levels of pollutants in the air from the air conditioning system. Just add on those value added extras to your shopping basket!

Could even increase public transport fares to push people, loan in hand, to the poor recession hit Porsche dealer.

Joined up thinking in action!

*as long as the other vehicle or animal is smaller

Last edited by potto; November 22nd, 2012 at 06:46 PM.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 06:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullswool View Post
The poll is a bit biased. But no, they should not pay tax. Why? Because it helps reduce cars on the road and helps reduce congestion on the buses and trains. The more cyclists the better.
The poll was created by Octoman, neutrality isn't his strong point.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 07:44 PM   #10
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Most people do not cycle for transport, ever. Why? Because they don't feel safe. Our car-centric streets are a huge social injustice and an environmental disaster.

To make people feel that it's safe to cycle, we need segregated cycle routes on the busiest roads. The increased rate of cycling this would generate would improve public health, save people money, reduce pollution, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. All good things. The Netherlands, where 27% of ALL journeys (and, in some towns, up to 57%) are by bicycle, points the way.

If we aim to make cycling mainstream (and we should), there's no reason everyone shouldn't pay for the infrastructure. It would be a new transport system for everyone, after all - not just the tiny minority who cycle just now. And everyone pays for subsidies to cars, whether they like it or not.

There has been no direct link between expenditure on roads and tax on motorists since 1937. The tax raised from motorists is not enough to cover the cost of the roads, which is also paid for from general taxation. The tax commonly and incorrectly known as "road tax" is actually Vehicle Excise Duty, and is a tax on emissions. Electric cars do not pay it. As bicycles create no emissions, there is no reason for cyclists to pay it either.

Octoman: you don't notice or don't care that our streets are overwhelmingly hostile to anyone who's not in a car. You're selfish in the extreme.

In your car, you think you're free. I know better - you're trapped. I pity you.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 08:50 PM   #11
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I don't drive in London. I use cabs to get around for meetings but my daily commute is by train. I experimented with the bike hire scheme when it first came out and decided cycling in London is about as safe as base jumping.

Cycling won't take off until the infrastructure is in place and right now the funding is not forthcoming. This is a possible solution.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 09:01 PM   #12
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Charge the cars off the road and it will be a lot safer.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 09:05 PM   #13
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Sensible solutions as always DarrrrJoLe.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 09:08 PM   #14
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Why should people who brave dangerous roads, cause no pollution, consume no petrol, and cause much less damage to road surfaces than cars or trucks have to pay more tax?

I'm not including myself in this - I do cycle, but not on busy roads, as it's clearly unsafe.

I think we'd discover there is actually quite a lot of money to do all sorts of worthwhile things, if only we'd stop wasting it on pointless wars.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 09:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarJoLe View Post
Charge the cars off the road and it will be a lot safer.
While a reduction in car journeys would undoubtedly be a good thing, I don't think some kind of ban on driving is particularly reasonable. Choice is nice. Let's start catering for personal choice by taking just one lane away from cars and giving it to bikes.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 09:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumCookable View Post
While a reduction in car journeys would undoubtedly be a good thing, I don't think some kind of ban on driving is particularly reasonable. Choice is nice. Let's start catering for personal choice by taking just one lane away from cars and giving it to bikes.
On most London trunk roads that would mean no lanes for general traffic at all since most of these roads are only one up one down most of the time.

I do wish people would stop equating cars with general traffic. Buses, goods vehicles and other motorised essential road users by far outnumber cars and you can't move them on or away without causing massive inconveniences.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 09:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trances View Post
I aint answering a poll worded this way!
Agreed! And certainly not after battling against the wind tonight!

Doesn't it ever occur to people that every cyclist is another space not occupied on the road by a car, or a train or bus place left free?

So road and public transport users benefit by those of us who get on our bikes doing so, because otherwise the roads and trains would be even more packed than they are (which I accept is a lot!)
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 09:21 PM   #18
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On routes where segregated cycle paths truly aren't feasible (i.e. on streets with two lanes - NOT monster 6-lane roads), the Dutch do nice traffic calming. They have ancient cities with narrow streets too, you know. It's not all generously-proportioned New Town-esque roads over there.

I wish people would stop acting as if they've thought of some barrier to mass cycling that the Dutch haven't overcome.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 09:44 PM   #19
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The last time I got knocked off my bike? It was at a zebra crossing. Another bike ploughed into the back of me because I stopped to let someone cross! After I helped him up (he was a bit worse for wear), I asked him why didn't he stop? He didn't really have an answer. Oh well.

I suspect that the lack of courtesy- not just between cyclists and other road users - but between all of us - either on foot, in cars, on public transport or whatever - is just a consequence of most of us feeling a bit squashed, or frustrated by jams, or irritated by other people's thoughtlessness or our own self importance, or we're just in too much of a rush and nobody is really helping reinforce the rules.

As a cyclist I get as annoyed by seeing other cyclists plough through a pedestrian crossing full of people as I do when daily, on my trip up Jermyn Street, I have to weave and swerve to avoid people who look with their ears... it's going to get worse with all these new electric cars. I bet they'll force them to have buzzers to warn people to get their faces out of their mobile devices.

When I'm in the train, I get pissed off by the shoulder bag which inevitably gets thrust in my face, the wearer oblivious to the unconscious passengers twitching on the floor with blood pumping from their temples. I get pissed off when someone decides to speed up their journey out of the station by 3 microseconds by putting their feet where you're about to step, so that suddenly it's your fault when the both of you collapse to the floor. I get pissed off when I'm in my car and someone starts flashing me because I have had the nerve to use the outside lane at a speed of less than 95mph.

..and then I think to somewhere like a big city in India, where the rules seem simply not to exist, and thank my lucky stars that it isn't that bad at least. Most of the time, whichever way I travel, it isn't really that bad. Most people are considerate, and I try to be considerate back.

In short... surely it's not really all that bad?
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 10:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumCookable View Post
Most people do not cycle for transport, ever. Why?
Because they're lazy and/or unfit.
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