Cycling is very popular. Not only does it combat vehicle pollution, it also helps maintain a person’s fitness level and even their sanity. Not having to cope with the gridlock traffic jams to and from work must surely be good for mental health.
That’s why it’s a bit of a puzzle as to why somebody would want to start a petition to tax cyclists and to also have them insured before they venture out on a bike.
This petition has gained a bit of momentum as well with almost 40,000 signatures being gained since it was started at the end of 2016. It has been sent to the Prime Minister and suggested that cyclists pay insurance in case of accidents and to contribute to a road tax for their use of public roads.
The idea is to have cyclists on cycle paths and in that way they are removed from the possibility of collisions with cars, be it their fault or that of the motorist.
Leisure Lakes Bikes, who deal in all types of bicycles and in particular road bikes, and is a very well-known biking shop, replied with three valid reasons as to why cyclists should not be asked to pay a UK road tax.
- A non-existent UK Road Tax?
There is a possibility that the petition won’t get too far when you check the laws and taxes of the UK Government and find there is, in fact, NO road tax levied anymore. There has not been a road tax, as such, in the UK for many years. That will make it hard to apply a road tax when one doesn’t exist.
Maybe the petitioners are getting the defunct Road Tax mixed up with the Vehicle Excise Duty Tax. One of Winston Churchill’s lesser known victories was the abolition of the Road Tax in 1937.
- Can Cyclists pay the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)?
The VED is applied to vehicles and is dependent on their engine size, the registration date and the type of fuel it uses and the resultant carbon dioxide emissions.
Considering a bicycle is not a car then there are some criteria that are just not possible to meet when comparing:
- A bicycle has no engine.
- With no engine, there is no fuel used.
- No working engine means no CO2 as an emission.
So, based on these results, it all adds up to a charge of £0! A Band A motorist is charged the same.
- Normal Taxes are Already Paid by the Cyclists
All UK citizens pay taxes. The money is part of consolidated revenue for the government and they spend this money on whatever needs attention the most. All cyclists are citizens so they already pay taxes. The validity of the petition is questionable.