Don’t Tax Bike Riders

Some countries not only embrace cycling as a preferred mode of transport but they do amazing things to ensure that cyclists commute and ride safely. You can read about Holland where the bike paths are the best in the world. Or Germany, where the cyclists produce electric power. It’s a great alternative to being locked in daily traffic jams on the way to and from work.

Somebody started a petition asking the government to tax bicycle riders and to make a law that has them insured when out riding.

This petition gained a bit of popularity, no doubt signed by bored and frustrated motorists stopped on motorways in traffic jams forced to watch cyclists breezing past them on the way to work with nary a worry!

Where the petition will stop, nobody knows, as it got under way in late 2016 and has yet to complete its rounds. Bike paths and complete separation of bicycle and car and a contribution to the road tax is what the petition asks for.

A very well-known biking shop, Leisure Lakes Bikes, who deal in all types of bicycles and in particular road bikes, replied with three valid reasons as to why cyclists should not be asked to pay a UK road tax.

  1. Is there Really a UK Road Tax?

The validity of the petition could be the quick stopper as there doesn’t seem to be a Road Tax per se. There has not been a road tax, as such, in the UK for many years. That will make it hard to apply one when one doesn’t exist. Hopefully it’s not a petition that gives the government the idea to start one either!

There is a Vehicle Excise Duty Tax, but that is nothing even remotely related to a road tax and the proceeds of which would normally, logic allowed, to be spent on improving cycle paths and motorways. One of Winston Churchill’s lesser known victories was the abolition of the Road Tax in 1937.

  1. Apply the Vehicle Excise Duty to Cyclists?

Considering a bicycle is not a car then there are some criteria that are just not possible to meet when comparing the two.

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.

  • With no engine, there is no fuel used.
  • There is no engine on a bicycle.
  • No resultant CO2 emissions occur.

A Band A motorist has complied with all the requirements of a clean vehicle and is charged £0. Based on these results, it all adds up to a zero charge for the cyclists too.

  1. Cyclists Already Pay Taxes

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.