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Cyclists paying road tax?

WHM3871WHM3871 Posts: 6
edited December 2010 in Commuting general
The government tax us on near enough everything these days, I know it will probably never happen, but what if they decided to tax cyclists?
Wayne

2010 Dawes Giro 200

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  • TonymufcTonymufc Posts: 1,016
    Not under current legislation. The vehicle excise duty (road tax) is based on axel weight and emissions and seen as cyclist don't fall into either then we won't be taxed. However, should the majority of drivers suddenly become cyclists then I'm assuming the government would need to recoup the lost fuel revenue, then cyclists would become an easy target, they'd put some spin on it come up with a fancy name and then batter us with some form of taxation.
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    My cycle emits less than 100g Co2 per km therefore (like my car) is in VED Band A, and I pay the fulfill duty for this band
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
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  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,197
    How? Unless you register and licence cyclists how are you going to tax them ?
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,685
    How? Unless you register and licence cyclists how are you going to tax them ?
    And since the rate would have to be a lot lower than most cars (ignoring the zero rated for a mo) it won't be worth the admin cost to run. And before anyone mentions TV licensing you know why that exists. If cyclists were to be taxed then we'd expect to have PROPER cycling superhighways where cars, vans, buses, taxis and HGVs aren't allowed. Ever.

    I already pay VED on my car, which spends 95%+ of the time on my driveway. I pay car insurance, house insurance, life insurance and a range of taxes, f**k me how many more ways to have to be milked for riding a bicycle while reducing my CO2 emissions, not wrecking the roads or killing other road users*, reducing the burden on the NHS and work absenteeism levels due to sickness and pissedoffness etc etc?

    If they tax bicycles I will demand they tax pedestrians - they use the roads too.

    And BTW there's no such thing as Road Tax, not since it was repealed in the 1930s.

    * Livingstreets claim that road deaths and injuries cost the NHS £470 million and the UK economy £18 billion every year.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • Tax cyclists and people will stop cycling. Not what you want in an age of global warming and obesity.

    And it is wrong to think that the roads are paid for with Road Tax. Transport spending is paid for from the general tax pool, from VAT and Income Tax and so on.
  • WHM3871 wrote:
    The government tax us on near enough everything these days, I know it will probably never happen, but what if they decided to tax cyclists?

    I said that in a previous forum here last month.

    http://road.cc/content/news/8177-scotti ... g-cyclists
    Peds with ipods, natures little speed humps

    Banish unwanted fur - immac a squirrel
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... heads.html
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    WHM3871 wrote:
    The government tax us on near enough everything these days, I know it will probably never happen, but what if they decided to tax cyclists?

    I said that in a previous forum here last month.

    http://road.cc/content/news/8177-scotti ... g-cyclists

    That article is from over a year ago and I'm sure I remember the Scottish Parliament mad an unequivocal statement soon after denying that they had plans to tax cyclists...

    Essentially taxing cyclists would be counter intuitive at a time when the government is trying to encourage more cycling. In cities like London, cycling saves the government money, the fewer cars there are on the road, the less pollution damage there is the buildings, the better air quality and the less likely we are to be fined (again) for contravening EU limits on urban pollution. Also the fewer cars there are the less damage is done to road surfaces and therefore less has to be spent on repairs and the more people on bikes, the fewer people in the Tube, on buses and on trains which all take state funding in some form or other. You could also argue that cycling saves the NHS money as cyclists are healthier. All in all, it makes sense for the government to encourage as much cycling as possible as they already "make" money in savings...
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  • Let us not take for granted though the fact that they are now looking to raise as much as possible. I know it was an old article just drawing it to peoples attention, believe me I would not put it past them to consider it.
    Peds with ipods, natures little speed humps

    Banish unwanted fur - immac a squirrel
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... heads.html
  • Never happen. The cost of enforcing and administering would massively outweigh any potential benefit.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Let us not take for granted though the fact that they are now looking to raise as much as possible. I know it was an old article just drawing it to peoples attention, believe me I would not put it past them to consider it.

    But as has been mentioned, firstly they would have to implement some kind of registration scheme which would be very expensive and probably involve some massive upfront outlay and subsequently would incur cost in enforcement by the police.

    Cyclists would most definitely begin to expect better road facilities than the current car orientated system we have which barely acknowledges cyclists' needs. Also how far does the tax go? Are we going to tax 5 year olds on bikes with stabilisers? What about people who have a BSO at the back of the garage which gets broght out once every summer? If you start to tax cyclists, large numbers of people who would simply get rid of the bike and get back into the car and it would mean all the savings I mentioned above would be gone instantly. Not to mention the fact that many people already pay VED on a car (or 2) already.
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  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    Sorry - looong post city of Toronto report comprehensively rubbishing the idea
    Works and Emergency Services - David C. Kaufman, P.Eng., Acting Commissioner
    City Hall, 24th Floor East Tower, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N2
    2005 BUDGET BRIEFING NOTE - Licensing Cyclists
    and/or Bicycles
    History of Bicycle Licensing in Toronto:
    • The City of Toronto required bicycles to be licensed and to display a licence plate in 1935. The by-law was repealed in 1956.
    • In the past 20 years licensing cyclists and/or bicycles has been investigated on at least three occasions by the City:
    • 1984 – concern with bicycle theft
    • 1992 – concern with sidewalk cycling and compliance with Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
    • 1996 - concern with sidewalk cycling and compliance with Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
    • In the three instances described above, City Council rejected licensing cyclists/bicycles for a variety of reasons, including:
    • the high cost to develop and administer a licensing program;
    • the difficulty in dealing with cyclists crossing the municipal boundary into the City;
    • the challenge of licensing children as well as adults
    • lack of support by the Toronto Police Service and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
    Two Kinds of Licence:
    It is important to distinguish between the two different kinds of licence and their different purposes.
    • Vehicle Licence – to put a licence plate on a bicycle for easier identification, either for theft prevention or traffic law enforcement.
    • Operator Licence – to ensure that cyclists achieve a minimum level of knowledge and competence before being permitted on the roadway.
    Reasons for Licensing Cyclists and/or Bicycles:
    • Licensing cyclists and/or bicycles is most frequently proposed as a means to:
    • prevent bicycle theft or to assist in returning a stolen bicycle to its owner;
    • improve compliance with the law by cyclists;
    • assist the public to report cyclists who have committed HTA or municipal by-law infractions; and enable police officers to ticket cyclists who have committed traffic offences.
    Bicycle Licence is Ineffective in Preventing Theft:
    • Developing and maintaining a bicycle licence system would be a costly undertaking – there are more than 2,000,000 bicycles owned by City of Toronto residents.
    • Bicycle licensing has proven ineffective as a means to prevent theft because a licence plate or decal is easily removed.
    • Most North American cities which at one time required bicycles to be licensed, including the former City of Toronto, have discontinued their programs. Many of these programs charged a small registration fee intended to offset the cost of administering the program.
    • Toronto Police Service provide a free service to register bicycle serial numbers so that stolen bicycles can be identified and returned to their owner, if recovered by police.
    Increasing Enforcement of Cyclist Infractions Does Not Require Licensing of Cyclists:
    • Cyclists are subject to the same HTA rules and fines as drivers.
    • At the request of the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario amended the Highway Traffic Act in 1989 to require cyclists to identify themselves when stopped by a police officer, to aid in effective enforcement.
    • A cyclist or bicycle licence is not required in order for a cyclist to be charged under the HTA or Municipal By-law.
    • Toronto police can and do enforce traffic rules for cyclists, including at least one “Cycle Right” campaign in the Spring of each year.
    • There is a perception that having a licence plate on the back of a bicycle would enable citizens to report errant cyclists and have the police issue a ticket, however:
    • a licence plate identifies the vehicle not the vehicle operator;
    • a ticket is issued to the vehicle operator not the vehicle (red light camera violations are the exception - provincial legislation was enacted to enable red light camera offences to be issued against the vehicle owner rather than the driver).
    • There is a perception that the police do not ticket cyclists often enough or as often as they could, however the police must balance their limited traffic enforcement resources against competing enforcement needs. For example, there is an average of 68,700 reported motor vehicle collisions every year in the City of Toronto – bicycles are involved in 1.8 percent of those reported collisions.
    • Licensing cyclists is not likely to change the priority bicycle enforcement receives vis-a-vis other enforcement priorities.
    • If police bicycle-enforcement resources are to be increased, it would be more effective for police officers to focus on increased enforcement of the existing traffic rules for cyclists rather than enforcing compliance with a licensing requirement.
    Improving Cyclist Compliance with Traffic Rules is the Main Objective:
    • Requiring cyclists to pass a written and road test to obtain a licence to operate a bicycle on the road would ensure a minimum level of knowledge and competence for all cyclists.
    • Requiring a bicycle operator's licence without a knowledge and skills test as a prerequisite would not achieve any safety benefit and could be perceived as a user fee.
    • Establishing and maintaining a testing and licensing program would be a massive undertaking – there are 939,000 cyclists age 16 and older in the City (data for younger cyclists is not available).
    • Requiring a cyclist operating licence raises a number of questions, including:
    • How do you develop licensing requirements for both adults and children?
    • Do you prohibit cycling on the road for cyclists under a certain age?
    • Are occasional cyclists, who may ride primarily on pathways, subject to the same requirements as frequent cyclists who ride primarily on the road?
    • Can cyclists from other jurisdictions (tourist and residents of adjacent municipalities) be expected to obtain a licence to use City of Toronto roads?
    • Previous investigations into licensing have concluded that, if cyclists are to be licensed, it should be the responsibility of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) - similar to drivers' licences.
    • In 1992 and 1996, the City asked MTO to comment on the feasibility of licensing cyclists. MTO responded in 1992 by stating that it would cost $24.80 per cyclist (same cost as licensing drivers) to operate a licensing program, not including the database or program development costs.
    • While it appears there is potential to generate revenue from a bicycle or cyclist licensing program, if the cost is too high many cyclists will not comply. In order for the program to be effective, strict and consistent enforcement of the licensing requirement will be required. This could divert the limited enforcement resources away from enforcing the existing traffic rules for cyclists.
    • In 1996 MTO advised the City that the Ministry did not support a provincial bicycle licensing scheme because “such schemes, apart from being administratively and financially burdensome, do not increase bicycle safety practices…”
    • Both MTO and the Toronto Police Service have advised, in the past, that education and enforcement are more cost-effective means to improve cyclist knowledge, skills and general compliance with traffic rules.
    Conclusions:
    • Bicycle licences are not effective in preventing bicycle theft;
    • A cyclist operating licence is not required for police officers to enforce the existing traffic rules;
    • Developing a cyclist testing and licensing system would be expensive and divert attention from enforcing the existing traffic rules for cyclists;
    • Providing more resources for cyclist education and training and increased police enforcement would be a more cost-effective approach for improving safety.
    If Council wishes to pursue a City of Toronto bicycle or cyclist licensing program, the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division of Urban Development Services would be responsible for developing and operating such a program. Any proposal to test and license cyclists should be developed in consultation with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
    Prepared by: Daniel Egan, Manager, Pedestrian and Cycling Infrastructure,
    Transportation Infrastructure Management, Transportation Services
    (416-392-9065)
    Circulated to: Works Committee Members
    Date: December 23, 2004
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
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  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I have heard that bike registration has been tried in a few countries inc the Netherlands and has always been scrapped. Does any country in the world currently register and tax bikes? Apparently it's been ruled out in London:

    http://www.lcc.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=122
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  • guineaguinea Posts: 1,177
    Switzerland require you to take out anual liability insurance and you get a little sticker/number plate for your bicycle. It changes colour every year.
  • Whilst I do not believe that we will ever be taxed though I have no problem with that as it will not be much, I do believe that we would expect no less than proper cycle lanes on every new or re furbished road.

    However I do believe compulsory third party insurance should be mandatory, if only by joining such a scheme as the one a lot of us are in now with the CTC.

    If a moron in a car caused us injury/damage we would expect to claim, others do not have the luxury if we do it to them, and are unemployed or on minimal income, no point in sueing.
    Peds with ipods, natures little speed humps

    Banish unwanted fur - immac a squirrel
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... heads.html
  • In Switzerland you have to have a "velovignette" - a little sticker that you pop on the bike. It provides 3rd party insurance (up to 2million swiss francs) under a group policy purchased by the administrative area you live in.

    They only cost a couple of quid for a year. You can pay a little extra to register it and get some extra theft cover - but that's not compulsory.

    £25 fine if you don't have one.

    I think it's a good idea. I'm sure others wont...

    note to self: don't start a reply then go to make cuppa. It makes you look silly when you submit exactly the same bloody thing as those before you!!
  • What is the catch with the insurance below. First it is not evans cycles that provides it they are a broker, and second, the insurance does not pay the first £500 that is your liability so if you damage someones car, someone or something YOU pay the first £500 :evil: , check ALL insurance before buying. CTC does not make you pay the first £anything, I emailed to ask and they confirmed this. Dont get caught out.


    http://www.evanscycles.com/insurance?rw ... 4QodYAo7gA
    Peds with ipods, natures little speed humps

    Banish unwanted fur - immac a squirrel
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... heads.html
  • Hey guys! I really don't see this in the near future... or the future at all, but who knows!? I'm still working on getting my insurance cost down.
  • tycobb13 wrote:
    Hey guys! I really don't see this in the near future... or the future at all, but who knows!? I'm still working on getting my insurance cost down.

    Gocompare.com
    Peds with ipods, natures little speed humps

    Banish unwanted fur - immac a squirrel
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... heads.html
  • I consider myself a cyclist, yet I own a car which is taxed. Therefore I am a cyclist who pays car-tax? I just choose to not drive to&from work.
    FCN16 - 1970 BSA Wayfarer

    FCN4 - Fixie Inc
  • I consider myself a cyclist, yet I own a car which is taxed. Therefore I am a cyclist who pays car-tax? I just choose to not drive to&from work.

    Well said. Me too.
  • richkrichk Posts: 583
    Red Rider wrote:
    ...
    £25 fine if you don't have one.

    I think it's a good idea. I'm sure others wont......

    Given the lack of enforcement in other areas :

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7200066.stm
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-11850908

    I really don't see it working.
    There is no secret ingredient...
  • pshorepshore Posts: 61
    richk wrote:
    Given the lack of enforcement in other areas :

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7200066.stm

    Err, in the interests of factual correctness, I just wanted to point out that at the bottom of that page says:
    On 28 February the Commons Public Accounts Committee of MPs apologised to motorcyclists, admitting it had wrongly suggested 40% of motorbikes were untaxed.

    Committee chairman Edward Leigh blamed the error on the Department of Transport, saying the figure was now estimated to be at 9.8%.

    And links to the embarrassing climb down story :-)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7268854.stm
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