/ cyclists and 'road tax'

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benallan on 21 May 2013
picked this up from the other thread: -

'A road tax does not exist in the UK but the term is commonly and incorrectly used to refer to the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), or "car tax" paid on most motorised vehicles as a tax on emissions.

Roads are funded by all UK taxpayers under general and local taxes.'

This should be drummed into every driver when taking their test, maybe the attitude to cyclists would change a bit.

Marek - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
> picked this up from the other thread: -
>
> 'A road tax does not exist in the UK but the term is commonly and incorrectly used to refer to the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), or "car tax" paid on most motorised vehicles as a tax on emissions.
>
> Roads are funded by all UK taxpayers under general and local taxes.'
>
> This should be drummed into every driver when taking their test, maybe the attitude to cyclists would change a bit.

It strikes me as odd that more emphasis seems to be being placed on drivers' misconceptions about road funding than about the their dangerous driving and general disregard for the safety of other road users. Do you really think that explaining the details of VED will change the way they drive?
rogersavery - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

or another way of looking at it Vehicle Excise Duty is proportional to CO2 emissions

hence bikes pay £0
Toby S - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Marek:

It might take away the perception that they 'own' the road and make them realise that other road users are as entitled to be there as they are.

I've lost count of the amount of times that otherwise sensible people have said things like, 'oh but you're a cyclist and don't pay road tax so of course you're in the way' to me.
Marek - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Marek:
As another silly but perhaps more effective solution, how about sentencing offenders to - a bit like community service hours - to ride a bike for N hours (fixed route, fixed time). If that doesn't change their outlook, nothing will.
lummox - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Marek: What a great idea !
Marek - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Toby S:
> (In reply to Marek)
>
> It might take away the perception that they 'own' the road and make them realise that other road users are as entitled to be there as they are.
>
> I've lost count of the amount of times that otherwise sensible people have said things like, 'oh but you're a cyclist and don't pay road tax so of course you're in the way' to me.

I've never heard that said (doesn't mean it doesn't get said), but I think that most of the time they just 'don't think' rather than think about road tax. I see it as more of a case of willful negligence rather than malicious behaviour. Perhasp I'm too kind.
dissonance - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Toby S:

Sadly I suspect it wouldnt work. Although last couple of times I have had it shouted at me I have wondered about starting a philosophical discussion as whether it counts as paying road tax if the money comes from benefits.
Might be stereotyping but from the choice of vehicle and dress sense I cant help but think my total tax bill might be a tad higher.
benallan on 21 May 2013
In reply to Marek:

I said:

'maybe the attitude to cyclists would change a bit'

I have heard on a number of occasions drivers using the excuse - but they dont pay road tax - to justify their attitude that car users are superior to cyclists with regards to rights to the road.

If they didnt have that excuse, then 'maybe' their attitude 'might' change 'a bit' :)
benallan on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

to all the naysayers -

ok then lets not bother.
Marek - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
> (In reply to Marek)
>
> I said:
>
> 'maybe the attitude to cyclists would change a bit'
>
> I have heard on a number of occasions drivers using the excuse - but they dont pay road tax - to justify their attitude that car users are superior to cyclists with regards to rights to the road.
>
> If they didnt have that excuse, then 'maybe' their attitude 'might' change 'a bit' :)

I think that's the point. It an excuse after the event to try and retrospectively justify themselves. I'm betting they don't do a differential VED/road tax analysis before deciding who to run into. Take away that 'excuse' and they'll just have to find another (SMIDSY).

Toby S - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Marek:

I have to admit to being fortunate enough to live somewhere relatively rural so clashes with motorists are relatively rare if I'm out on a spin. Even the commute to work in Inverness is usually reasonably stress free.

The 'I pay road tax' and the attitude that motorists pay for the use of the road is definitely one I've had repeated to me on a few occasions over the last few months.

I'm not sure there's much of a difference between willful negligence and malicious behaviour if boy (or lady) racer is attempting to squash me on the roundabout :-)
Toby S - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Marek:
> (In reply to benallan)
> [...]
>
> I think that's the point. It an excuse after the event to try and retrospectively justify themselves.

Judging by the comments on twitter I'd argue otherwise. That's where this whole #bloodycyclists thing kicked off from. The young lady in question saw it as perfectly acceptable to cut someone up because she 'pays road tax'. Views that are apparently shared by many others.

benallan on 21 May 2013
In reply to Marek:

so it would be better to continue to let the majority of drivers believe that they pay 'road tax' and cyclists dont?
DancingOnRock - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
Why every driver?

Does every single driver you encounter give you a problem? If so I would suggest it's probably your riding that's the problem.

On Sunday I went on a 13mile run on country roads. I encountered probably a hundred or so cars, each one slowed and passed me with no problems. Except for two cars (4x4s) who cut in very early after their wing mirrors had passed me. They didn't run me over, sound their horns or lean out of the window and shout. I put it down to a lot of people who have very poor spatial awareness when driving rather than two car drivers who thought I shouldn't be on the road.

So in my very poor small selective sample I would say less than 2% of drivers are bad and none seemed to have a problem with me not paying VED.
Neil Williams - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

It is a road tax - a tax for using roads levied on some vehicles.

A "road tax" does not have to be spent on roads.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 21 May 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:

I pay VED to use my car on the roads as it damages them and emits pollution.

I don't pay it to use my bike on the road as it largely doesn't.

Don't see the problem, nor the issue surrounding what precise title applies to it.
Marek - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
> (In reply to Marek)
>
> so it would be better to continue to let the majority of drivers believe that they pay 'road tax' and cyclists dont?

No, education is always good. But in this case I don't believe it actually address the root cause of the problem (careless driving). I don't see roads littered with the remains of VED band A cars whose owners pay the same 'tax' (or even less probably) than cyclists.
But I could be wrong.
Toby S - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock)
>
> I pay VED to use my car on the roads as it damages them and emits pollution.
>
It's an emmissions tax. Damage to road is not taken into account.
Toby S - on 21 May 2013
Ugh, with apologies for my grammar. I've got a migraine and having sentences difficulty forming. ;-)
Neil Williams - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Toby S:

It is both, though it happens that a larger vehicle will tend to do more damage to the road, e.g. a lorry or bus. These vehicles always were charged more even prior to cars being banded by pollution.

The term "Road Fund Licence" is the incorrect one, as that did come from the days when it was spent directly on roads from the "Road Fund". At present, it is called "Vehicle Excise Duty", and it is a road tax (lower-case), or vehicle tax if you prefer (either is true - it is a tax for using a vehicle on the road).

Neil
In reply to rogersavery:
> (In reply to benallan)
>
> or another way of looking at it Vehicle Excise Duty is proportional to CO2 emissions
>
> hence bikes pay £0

But shireley the engine of the bike draws in 0.03% CO2 from the air and emits 5% (a 167% increase in CO2 emission to the air) that maybe a tax is in order.
nniff - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:


It's simpler than that - cars, vans, lorries, motorcyclists and their drivers/riders use the roads under licence, whereas pedestrians, horses, carriages and biccyles use them by right - which escapes most drivers.
metal arms on 21 May 2013
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
> (In reply to rogersavery)
> [...]
>
> But shireley the engine of the bike draws in 0.03% CO2 from the air and emits 5% (a 167% increase in CO2 emission to the air) that maybe a tax is in order.

Which would apply to all people then? A tax on breathing, I like that idea!
metal arms on 21 May 2013
In reply to Marek:
> (In reply to Marek)
> As another silly but perhaps more effective solution, how about sentencing offenders to - a bit like community service hours - to ride a bike for N hours (fixed route, fixed time, fixed wheel). If that doesn't sort the men from the boys, nothing will.

Minor edits...
Neil Williams - on 21 May 2013
In reply to nniff:

Though equally asserting that right, e.g. by riding three or more abreast on a busy road making overtaking more difficult, is only likely to lead to problems, as a stressed driver behind you is never a good thing.

To quote that Honda ad from a while ago - "aren't we all just trying to get somewhere"?

Neil
dissonance - on 21 May 2013
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

> But shireley the engine of the bike draws in 0.03% CO2 from the air and emits 5% (a 167% increase in CO2 emission to the air) that maybe a tax is in order.

I think if you manage to hit 101g/km (minus the base line for living) you would be going it some.
benallan on 21 May 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to benallan)
> Why every driver?
>
> Does every single driver you encounter give you a problem? If so I would suggest it's probably your riding that's the problem.
>


Ok, who had 30 minutes?

wondered how long it would take for someone to come out with that little gem! gets pulled out of bag on every cyclist vs driver thread.


why every driver - because that would be easier than travelling into the future and studying 'every' driver for the full term of their driving careers to note which ones had the attitude of superiority based on an assumption that they pay for their rights on the road, then travelling back in time and just telling the guilty parties.

Ramblin dave - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
To be honest, I think people who shout angrily about road tax do so because they're mouth breathing twunts who want something to get angry about and have picked cyclists as a target and "road tax" as a stick to beat them with. If they were sat down by someone from the treasury and had the current model of vehicle taxation and road funding explained to them, they'd either ignore it or they'd start shouting about lycra / helmets / riding two abreast / jumping red lights / whatever. It's all rationalization after the fact that they've already decided to be angry about cyclists.

If I was going to pick something to educate drivers about, it'd be what recommended road position for cyclists is and how much space you're meant to leave them when overtaking, and that if you'd need them to ride right up against the kerb to give you room to squeeze past then that wouldn't be leaving enough space and so the fact that they aren't doing so isn't actually inconveniencing you...
benallan on 21 May 2013
In reply to nniff:

i like it
ads.ukclimbing.com
benallan on 21 May 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

fair enough.
DancingOnRock - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock)
> [...]
>
>
> Ok, who had 30 minutes?
>
> wondered how long it would take for someone to come out with that little gem! gets pulled out of bag on every cyclist vs driver thread.


There would probably be a reason why it gets pulled out of the bag every time.

1. It's not cyclists v driver. Unless of course you're making it one. In which case if you go out looking for a fight you'll find one.
2. Please don't lump all drivers in the 'bad' bracket. I don't lump all cyclists in the 'militant anti car environmentailst head down training for tour de France' bracket.

We're all trying to get on, threads like this don't help...
rallymania - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:


could / should a new section be intorduced to the "written" part of the driving test about this?

okay it won't stop the existing idiots but hopefully will help educate the new ones a bit better.
Neil Williams - on 21 May 2013
In reply to rallymania:

Doesn't seem a bad idea.

Neil
Mike Highbury - on 21 May 2013
In reply to rallymania:
> (In reply to benallan)
>
>
> could / should a new section be intorduced to the "written" part of the driving test about this?
>
> okay it won't stop the existing idiots but hopefully will help educate the new ones a bit better.

Excellent and doubtless there is a committee of cyclists drafting one as we speak.
benallan on 21 May 2013
In reply to rallymania:

exactly, wouldnt do any harm would it.
Nevis-the-cat - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Mike Highbury:

when it comes to drafting, it's always best to ask a cyclist.
nniff - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to nniff)
>
> Though equally asserting that right, e.g. by riding three or more abreast on a busy road making overtaking more difficult, is only likely to lead to problems, as a stressed driver behind you is never a good thing.
>
Of course - having the right to do something doesn't mean that you should, because that turns you into a pear-shaped, mouth-breathing waste of carbon.
benallan on 21 May 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to benallan)
> [...]
>
>
> There would probably be a reason why it gets pulled out of the bag every time.
>
> 1. It's not cyclists v driver. Unless of course you're making it one. In which case if you go out looking for a fight you'll find one.
> 2. Please don't lump all drivers in the 'bad' bracket. I don't lump all cyclists in the 'militant anti car environmentailst head down training for tour de France' bracket.
>
> We're all trying to get on, threads like this don't help...


''All trying to get on'' really???

so you're lumping everyone in the 'good' bracket, would be nice wouldnt it, but it just isnt true.

For the record im not trying to 'lump all drivers in the bad bracket'.

All I suggest is that it is explained to every driver that 'road tax' isnt something that allows a car driver 'extra' rights on the road.

And that might, possibly, hopefully, change attitudes a little bit.

For those of you who live in a rose tinted world - there IS a problem with attitudes towards cyclists on our roads. I drive a car, and I cycle every day. I would say this wouldnt I, but....my behaviour on the bike is as close to 100% perfect as I can get within the rules and regulations of the road, but I still come close to death or serious injury on a fairly regular basis, and most of the time it is due to drivers attitudes rather than just their carelessness.

on a side note - last night a fat old piss head pedestrian jumped (yes litteraly jumped) off the pavement and into my path. I swerved round him and carried on riding as he shouted tosspot! at me.
zoobizooretta - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

its a big problem in Russia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjj-1L6qeOc
which is why they have cameras in their cars
DancingOnRock - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock)
> [...]
>
>
> ''All trying to get on'' really???
>
> so you're lumping everyone in the 'good' bracket, would be nice wouldnt it, but it just isnt true.
>
> For the record im not trying to 'lump all drivers in the bad bracket'.
>
> All I suggest is that it is explained to every driver that 'road tax' isnt something that allows a car driver 'extra' rights on the road.

That's not really what you suggested in your OP though is it?

'should be drummed into every motorist' is not the same as explaining. I would suggest most motorists (aside from Internet forum trolls) are pretty much aware of how much tax they pay and what it gets spent on.

There is of course a section on it in the highway code. So plenty of scope there already for driving instructors to explain nicely and for candidates to be tested on. Or if you prefer 'fully interrogated' on.

https://www.gov.uk/rules-drivers-motorcyclists-89-to-102/motor-vehicle-documentation-and-learner-dri...
benallan on 21 May 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to benallan)
> [...]
>
> That's not really what you suggested in your OP though is it?

Yes it is

>
> 'should be drummed into every motorist' is not the same as explaining. I would suggest most motorists (aside from Internet forum trolls) are pretty much aware of how much tax they pay and what it gets spent on.

I would Say they don't, I would say most drivers think their 'road tax' is spent on the roads hence the attitude that cyclists shouldn't be on the roads because they don't pay road tax.

>
> There is of course a section on it in the highway code. So plenty of scope there already for driving instructors to explain nicely and for candidates to be tested on. Or if you prefer 'fully interrogated' on.
>

Good idea

DancingOnRock - on 21 May 2013
captain paranoia - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Toby S:

> The young lady in question saw it as perfectly acceptable to cut someone up because she 'pays road tax'. Views that are apparently shared by many others.

I've had it said to me many times.

I point out that:

i) there's no such thing as Road Tax, which was discontinued in 1937
ii) Vehicle Excise Duty is now dependent on the CO2 emissions, and, since my vehicle falls within the low CO2 bracket (zero), it, like other low CO2 emission cars, pays zero VED
iii) VED is not sequestered purely for the upkeep of roads, and goes into the common Exchequer, like all other taxes and duties
iv) the particular vehicle I am using at the time is not subject to VED, but has it crossed their mind that I might own one or more other vehicles that are subject to VED?
biped - on 21 May 2013
In reply to rogersavery:
> (In reply to benallan)
>
> or another way of looking at it Vehicle Excise Duty is proportional to CO2 emissions
>
> hence bikes pay £0

Indeed but the widespread attitude that cyclists have no rights to the road because of this is cobblers. I could use that argument to demand that little miss employee of the month at the nail bar gets the hell out of my way as I pay more VED than she does for her baby blue mini. None of the 'I pay road-tax' brigade seem to consider that many or even most cyclists are also motorists. Christ there are at least two cyclists reg'd on here who each have a fleet of high VED cars.

Orgsm on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

If motorists are funding the roads, then why aren't they fixing the pot holes and defects, bl**dy disgraceful.
Neil Williams - on 21 May 2013
In reply to captain paranoia:

"i) there's no such thing as Road Tax, which was discontinued in 1937"

Correct, but there is a road tax (lower case, generic term) which is called Vehicle Excise Duty.

I don't see why people get so het up about this.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

It's not dissimilar to the statement that there is a consumer sales tax[1], it just happens to be called VAT.

[1] Yes I know, not quite. But near enough.

Neil
sleavesley on 21 May 2013
lfenbo - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Beat me to it!:
> (In reply to benallan)
>
> If motorists are funding the roads, then why aren't they fixing the pot holes and defects, bl**dy disgraceful.

nice one lol ;-)
timjones - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
> (In reply to Marek)
>
> so it would be better to continue to let the majority of drivers believe that they pay 'road tax' and cyclists dont?

That depends on how much of a pedantic taunt you want to be :-)
benallan on 21 May 2013
In reply to sleavesley:

Awesome, I want one.
benallan on 21 May 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Have you posted that link in deference to my comments? It only reinforces my stance.
Jamie Wakeham - on 21 May 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: does the average shopper believe VAT is used to build and repair shops?

That's why the distinction between road tax and VED (or just car tax) is important.
benallan on 21 May 2013
In reply to biped:

Indeed, I may spend morning and evening rush hours, dodging the 'bike hating motorists', but in actuality, I have 'more rights to the road' than most of them (based on their justification). I work two jobs, in the first I get a decent wage, the second I pay higher rate tax, and I pay car tax for the car sitting on the drive at home, and I pay council tax; so I contribute more to the upkeep of the roads than most, yet cause the least damage, and emit far less co2.
EVERYONE should make way for ME.
DancingOnRock - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock)
>
> Have you posted that link in deference to my comments? It only reinforces my stance.

No. It doesn't.

'In a tactic beloved of thrifty PR exercises, they polled a number of drivers and riders and to produce this press release, which essentially concludes that sometimes drivers get irritated by cyclists and visa versa.'

'But what's one of the three findings they highlight at the top? "A quarter of drivers say cyclists should pay road tax," it says. '

Please note 'a quarter of drivers' is NOT most.

and

'Sometimes' means occasionally or not all of the time.

Your initial post is unfortunately very badly worded. You definitely use the word 'drummed' when really you should have said 'explained' as you later admit.
Chris Harris - on 22 May 2013
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

> But shireley the engine of the bike draws in 0.03% CO2 from the air and emits 5% (a 167% increase in CO2 emission to the air) that maybe a tax is in order.

It's a 167 fold increase, not a 167% increase.
Toby S - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

It's not a road tax, it's an emissions tax. Based on the emissions of your vehicle. Not the size. You're as well saying the MOT or Insurance is a road tax as you need both of them before you can go on the roads too.
Ramblin dave - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Toby S:
I always wonder whether some of these people would expect to be turfed out of a hospital bed if someone who pays more income tax than them needed it...
Neil Williams - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Toby S:

"It's not a road tax, it's an emissions tax. Based on the emissions of your vehicle. Not the size."

Explain, then, why a bus or lorry is more expensive regardless of its emissions.

"You're as well saying the MOT or Insurance is a road tax as you need both of them before you can go on the roads too."

Neither of them are taxes, as they are not charged by the Government, they are charged by private organisations, albeit with a level of regulation.

Neil
benallan on 22 May 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:

For your persistent niggling, irritating, figure quoting, and general pessimistic replies, I award you Typical UKC responder of the week.


I just thought my OP would be a good idea to go some way to dispel the ‘cyclists shouldn’t be on the roads because they don’t pay road tax’ belief, and therefore maybe improve attitudes and therefore improve the safety of those of us who use our bikes on the roads.

Big deal if only 25% of the drivers questioned in your article didn’t understand VED, who cares? (The fact that you found an article about it shows that it is an actual issue). As I’ve said earlier, I’m on the roads every day, I know what it’s like, and ANYTHING to improve mine and other cyclist’s safety should be considered. So yes I stand by my original opinion:

DRUM this into EVERY body when they take their driving test:

***drivers do not have extra rights over cyclists just because they pay ‘road tax’, cyclists are not there to be abused just because they don’t pay ‘road tax’***. And then go on to explain what road tax actually is. (And while we’re on it, DRUM into every driver ***cyclists should be allowed the same space on the road as a car, cyclists aren’t required, and shouldn’t be expected to ride in the gutter!***). And dont allow people behind the wheel of a 2 ton, 70mph heap of metal until they understand and respect that.

Why do you, or anyone else, feel the need to argue against that? What harm would it do? If it even changed attitudes for the better by a tiny amount (which I think it would) wouldn’t that be a good thing?
MG - on 22 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
DRUM into every driver ***cyclists should be allowed the same space on the road as a car,


Why? They are about a quarter the width and half the length!


>
> Why do you, or anyone else, feel the need to argue against that?

As above. It would be a waste of road space

GrahamD - on 22 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

> Why do you, or anyone else, feel the need to argue against that? What harm would it do? If it even changed attitudes for the better by a tiny amount (which I think it would) wouldn’t that be a good thing?

Because if you go down the line of 'drumming in' every item of the highway code that - if ignored - could have a fatal outcome you would be 'drumming in' the whole highway code.

Neil Williams - on 22 May 2013
In reply to MG:

If a cyclist should be allowed the same space as a car to give extra clearance, for which there are good arguments, that then makes two abreast a problem, as that means they need the width of two cars, for which there is not space on the road.

"Cyclists should therefore ride in single file at all times - discuss"...

Neil
benallan on 22 May 2013
In reply to MG:

'a waste of road space'

are you serious?
benallan on 22 May 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

and thats a problem why?
benallan on 22 May 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

fair enough, and, ok. (as long as that single file is allowed the same space as a car).
benallan on 22 May 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to benallan)
> DRUM into every driver ***cyclists should be allowed the same space on the road as a car,
>
>
> Why? They are about a quarter the width and half the length!
>
>
> [...]
>
> As above. It would be a waste of road space



Your attitude is what this whole thing is about.

The widest part of my bike is the handlebars, which are about 42cm wide, so I should only be allowed a 42cm wide space should I????

And if I happen to stray out of that 42cm, even by 10cm and a car which is overtaking me 10 cm to my left happens to hit me and kill me, I suppose it’s my fault?
In reply to Chris Harris:
> (In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat)
>
> [...]
>
> It's a 167 fold increase, not a 167% increase.

Ooooh, you are right, it is a 167,000% increase - Tax the cyclists!!!
Toby S - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Toby S)
>
> "It's not a road tax, it's an emissions tax. Based on the emissions of your vehicle. Not the size."
>
> Explain, then, why a bus or lorry is more expensive regardless of its emissions.
>

In fact a lorry on Band B VED is cheaper than my car:

http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/the-cost-of-vehicle-tax-for-large-rigid-and-articulated-goods-vehicles

I've actually spent a bit of time reading into this (work? what work?) and concede that heavy goods vehicles are based on tonnage. Which I did not know! However it doesn't specify whether that's due to damage to roads or the fact these heavier vehicles generally belch out more crud and it's an easier way to classify them. I'm not sure whether DirectGov are being deliberately vague on that particular point.

Taken from thoroughly researched data on twitter, facebook, Corsa driving mentalists, UKC and folks in the office*, the term 'road tax' does convey a feeling that those who pay it have more right to the road than is the case, ergo it should be avoided and either called car tax or VED.


* This of course has been peer reviewed and subjected to the highest standards of scrutiny between chats about football and whose turn it is to make the coffe.




GrahamD - on 22 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

> and thats a problem why?

Because its impractical to test knowledge of every single clause in the highway code.
Neil Williams - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Toby S:

"I've actually spent a bit of time reading into this (work? what work?) and concede that heavy goods vehicles are based on tonnage. Which I did not know! However it doesn't specify whether that's due to damage to roads or the fact these heavier vehicles generally belch out more crud and it's an easier way to classify them. I'm not sure whether DirectGov are being deliberately vague on that particular point."

It's probably more because the classification used to be based purely on vehicle size and purpose, and while cars have been changed to deal with emissions rather than just having one "private/light goods" band as was originally the case (then it moved to engine size, then ultimately emissions), other vehicle types haven't.

"Taken from thoroughly researched data on twitter, facebook, Corsa driving mentalists, UKC and folks in the office*, the term 'road tax' does convey a feeling that those who pay it have more right to the road than is the case, ergo it should be avoided and either called car tax or VED."

It's still a road tax, as it's a tax for using the roads, whatever it implies! Whether it's a good term to use is a different argument, it's probably on a par with calling VAT sales tax. But I think it's a fairly useless thing to discuss in the context of cyclists etc, and for anyone who does use it "do you also support a tax on pedestrians using the roads?" is probably a decent get-back.

I also like the insurance get-back. Most cyclists are covered by third-party insurance via their home insurer - use of motor vehicles is always excluded from this general part of the home contents policy, whereas use of bicycles isn't. I did specifically ask my insurer (Direct Line) to clarify this when this came up before, and as expected they confirmed I do have third party liability cover for liability arising through the use of a pedal cycle on the road.

Neil
MG - on 22 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
>
>
> Your attitude is what this whole thing is about

Actually, I think your sort of loud-mouthed posturing is the source of many drivers irritation at cyclists.
>
> The widest part of my bike is the handlebars, which are about 42cm wide, so I should only be allowed a 42cm wide space should I????
>

How do you arrive at that idea from what I wrote? I would go with the HWC's recommendation of cyclists leaving the same clearance as cars when being passed and so on. So I guess 1.5-2m depending on speeds. Expecting an individual bicycle to be given the same space on a road as car is absurd. Do you think cycle lanes should be as wide as car lanes? If so, do your think this would be an efficient use of limited road space?
MG - on 22 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> 'a waste of road space'
>
> are you serious?


Yes. There is normally limited width available in towns because of houses and in rural areas wider roads cost a fortune. We need to design roads appropriately. All guidance on cycle pats (sensibly) suggests widths much less than is required for cars. Sizing bike paths as wide as road lanes would be a waste of space and money.
nufkin - on 22 May 2013
In reply to MG:

> Sizing bike paths as wide as road lanes would be a waste of space and money.

Possibly, but it may be worth considering the psychological benefit of having a wider bike path to the rider, ie less feeling of being hemmed-in/restricted, therefore more likely to feel happy using it? Also it means the rider is more confident at faster speeds, as per motorway lanes compared to normal roads
benallan on 22 May 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

You said every clause which, if ignored, could have a fatal outcome.

So I say yes.

If that's impractical then so be it.
benallan on 22 May 2013
In reply to MG:

Loud mouthed posturing?

Ok.
DancingOnRock - on 22 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

I linked to that article because it said that the survey was flawed. The question was leading and the answers available limiting. The survey was designed to produce certain answers from certain people.

The issue is not that drivers believe that they own the roads because they pay car tax. The issue is that cyclists don't. 25% is probably a high figure but isn't the number of people who think they own the roads.

The issue seems to be that you feel threatened and persecuted as a cyclist. You're not. The type of people who are abusive and drive badly don't do it just because of you. You're not that special. They do it all the time to all road users.

All threads like this do is, as the article said, show that cyclists sometimes wind car drivers up, and vice versa.

I'm not pessimistic. The reason people drive badly is that they drive badly. It's not because they have to pay road tax. You're barking up the wrong tree.
Eric9Points - on 22 May 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
I congratulate you on your patient and considered post. I must say though that I suspect you're replying to a troll because it's difficult to believe that anyone could be such a nob end in real life.
benallan on 22 May 2013
In reply to dancingonrock, mg, marek

Ok I take it all back, it is obviously futile to try to change attitudes towards cyclists. I shouldn't have bothered, I'm terrible. End of discussion for me.
DancingOnRock - on 22 May 2013
In reply to benallan: No. You're just wasting your time baiting people with car tax thread.

Cyclists don't pay VED because it would be impossible and/or expensive to enforce and collect.

Maybe get a helmet cam and video your journeys. Watch it back later when you are calm and relaxed and consider your actions and the actions of car drivers. Consider whether 'most' car drivers are deliberately trying to kill you, whether they just pass too close because they don't care, whether they pass too close because they don't realise how fast you're going, or whether they actually give you plenty of room (and you just want a bit more).
benallan on 22 May 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Cyclists don't pay VED because it would be impossible and/or expensive to enforce and collect.
>

What's that got to do with my point?

> No. You're just wasting your time baiting people with car tax thread.

Baiting people????

Now you are having a laugh aren't you.

I started the thread, you've been baiting me, and well done , hope you're happy, I took it. Nice one.

Really though this is the end of it for me.
sheesh - on 29 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

There are as many bad cyclists out there as drivers, the basic fact is the highway code states that drivers should give way to cyclists regardless of how much you pay if you pay more tax on a sports car does it allow you to drive faster than the speed limit?
If you want drivers to be more considerate include a town/city based cycle proficiency test for the car license, then increase the punishment for crimes of ignorance or negligence. If you are to stupid to drive/cycle safely then you are to stupid to drive/cycle and should be banned for a lengthy period, if there was a bad of 10 years for all charges of careless driving what do you think the net effect would be? careless drivers would be on public transport and other drivers would take more care.
Fat Bumbly2 - on 29 May 2013
In reply to sheesh: How do these ideas fit in with the freedom of those society has decided are too young to drive, to move around freely. There is a disturbing trend in these debates to ignore the under 17s.

The potential health effects of barring young people from cycling are disturbing. I suppose that would of course be somebody else's problem.
In the last 18 months or so I have heard on BBC Radio Scotlands "Call Kaye" programme a debate on cyclists and road safety. On each and every occasion it is left to a listener to call in and draw attention to the fact that various callers have been ranting that cyclists "Don't pay road tax", despite the fact that the presenter Kaye Adams has been made aware of this time and time again. I thought the BBCs remit was to educate and entertain?
Whoops! Should have read:
In the last 18 months or so on at least three occasions I have heard on BBC Radio Scotlands "Call Kaye" programme a debate on cyclists and road safety. On each and every occasion it is left to a listener to call in and draw attention to the fact that various callers have been ranting that cyclists "Don't pay road tax", despite the fact that the presenter Kaye Adams has been made aware of this time and time again. I thought the BBCs remit was to educate and entertain?

999thAndy on 29 May 2013
In reply to Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells:
> despite the fact that the presenter Kaye Adams has been made aware of this time and time again. I thought the BBCs remit was to educate and entertain?

Well it is entertaining ... compared to strictly
Trangia - on 29 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

Roads cost money to build and maintain. It seems entirely logical to me that we should pay to use them on a sliding scale depending on the size, weight and potential wear caused by the user.

What is the objection to a toll road system? It seems to have worked admirably for many centuries, so why not scrap VED and embrace it with modern monitoring technology?

Eg (example only - no actual costs worked out)

Per section of say up to 10 miles.

Pedestrians 1p (with carbon tipped walking poles 2p)
Pedestrians with dogs (subject to carrying a poo bag) 1.5p
Cyclists 1p
Horses 3p *
Horses and cart 5p
Cars 10p
Motorhomes 12p
Cars pulling caravans 15p
4x4s 20p **
Vans 11p (White vans and ice cream vans 12p)
Lorries 12p
Tractors 12p
Artics 15p

*I've increased to charge to horses threefold, not because I have anything against them, but they are heavier, have metal shoes and unlike pedestrians and cyclists tend to sh*t regularly on the road.

** I've nothing against 4x4s but by their very nature they shouldn't be on my spanking new road anyway and should stick to pavements and verges, or even fields if they don't mind a bit of real mud.

999thAndy on 29 May 2013
In reply to Trangia:

We'd never afford to build any new roads with a toll of 1p/mile

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13924687
paul george - on 29 May 2013
In reply to benallan:
As a lycra'd cyclist who often goes out on sportives and in groups (admittedly mainly in rural areas), I find it most gratifying that the majority of drivers either give plenty of space or will hold back if there is not room to pass. To the latter I always extend a thumbs up in gratitude as they finally get to go past me. It's no more than normal road courtesy amongst road users.
There are the ignorant few (and my crude observation suggests they are predominantly weekend 4X4 monster car drivers) who pass close and cut in. I reason they have so few brain cells that all I can do is just try to survive. I tried to explain to one that he would feel very bad indeed if he had to explain to his children that he'd killed me on purpose - but he disagreed.

In short, as cyclists generally, we will have to give a better example than we get from drivers if we hope for any better treatment. We will never counter the ignorant arguments and we will never be rid of those without brain cells.
timjones - on 29 May 2013
In reply to Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells:
> Whoops! Should have read:
> In the last 18 months or so on at least three occasions I have heard on BBC Radio Scotlands "Call Kaye" programme a debate on cyclists and road safety. On each and every occasion it is left to a listener to call in and draw attention to the fact that various callers have been ranting that cyclists "Don't pay road tax", despite the fact that the presenter Kaye Adams has been made aware of this time and time again. I thought the BBCs remit was to educate and entertain?

It's a tax that is charged for using the roads. Some classes of user may be exempted from it but pointless pedantry does absolutely nothing to further your cause.
Nevis-the-cat - on 29 May 2013
In reply to timjones:

Erm, no. It is not a tax charged to use the road. It is a tax based upon the emissions of the vehicle.

A vehicle with low or nil emissons does not pay Vehicle Excise Duty.

It confers no right to use the roads whatsoever.

It's not pointless pedantry, it's a fairly simple fiscal matter that some road users need to get into their tiny little squirrel filled minds.
lummox - on 29 May 2013
In reply to Nevis-the-cat: No witty riposte Tim ??
a lakeland climber on 29 May 2013
In reply to timjones:

Actually you don't have to use the roads for it to apply to a vehicle. If the vehicle is not subject to a SORN then you must possess and display a license for the vehicle. So even if the vehicle remains on your drive for the entire year and does exactly zero miles or you do 50,000 miles in it you still pay the same VED.

Incidentally the total income to the exchequer from VED each year is equivalent to just over 1p of income tax.

ALC
DancingOnRock - on 29 May 2013
In reply to Fat Bumbly2:
> (In reply to sheesh) How do these ideas fit in with the freedom of those society has decided are too young to drive, to move around freely. There is a disturbing trend in these debates to ignore the under 17s.
>
> The potential health effects of barring young people from cycling are disturbing. I suppose that would of course be somebody else's problem.

Exactly why I said (last week) it was unenforcable and uncollectable for cyclists. Copletely pointless argumnet. You can't put VED of bicycles, no point in even arguing whether it's morally right or wrong for cyclists to pay, it would just cost far more to administer.

Even car drivers are no longer caught by not displaying. They're just automatically fined. If you own a car and haven't bought a disk. You get fined. How would that work with cyclists?
Neil Williams - on 29 May 2013
In reply to Nevis-the-cat:

"Erm, no. It is not a tax charged to use the road. It is a tax based upon the emissions of the vehicle."

For use on the road. If it is not used on the road, it is not payable.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 29 May 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

(provided it is SORNed, which you would of course do if you weren't going to use on the road - that's just an enforcement mechanism)
timjones - on 29 May 2013
In reply to lummox:
> (In reply to Nevis-the-cat) No witty riposte Tim ??

Does it have to be witty ya gert lummox :-)

If I don't use my vehicle on the road I can apply for exemption in the form of a SORN. Road tax is a simple name that is widely used. No amount of pedantry over a widely used name will change the problems caused by inconsiderate road users regardless their mode of transport. It would be far more fruitful to focus on the real issues IMO.
timjones - on 29 May 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> Actually you don't have to use the roads for it to apply to a vehicle. If the vehicle is not subject to a SORN then you must possess and display a license for the vehicle. So even if the vehicle remains on your drive for the entire year and does exactly zero miles or you do 50,000 miles in it you still pay the same VED.
>
> Incidentally the total income to the exchequer from VED each year is equivalent to just over 1p of income tax.
>

You're confusing a very crude enforcement measure with the intent of the regulations that lie behind it.

a lakeland climber on 29 May 2013
In reply to timjones:

Err, no I'm not :-)

It would be simpler (and fairer) to simply get rid of VED and put the duty on to fuel - you do more miles = pay more tax; if you have an inefficient vehicle then you pay more tax. What this would fail to do is provide a check on MOT and insurance when renewing the VED, oh and what would all those people in DVLA down in Swansea have to do?

ALC
Neil Williams - on 29 May 2013
In reply to timjones:

Agree. Cyclists (or anyone else) obsessing about the terminology used to describe VED are just making themselves out to be pedants.

The correct answer to "You aren't entitled to be on the road because you don't pay road tax" is not pointless pedantry, it's to point out that that's because a cycle neither damages the road surface to a noticeable extent nor emits pollution at the point of use (unless the rider has eaten egg and beans).

Neil
Neil Williams - on 29 May 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:

To be fair, the current stepped version does discourage the purchase of very polluting vehicles (and therefore their use), so it does have a use.

Neil
yorkshireman - on 29 May 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Nevis-the-cat)

> For use on the road. If it is not used on the road, it is not payable.

But if the car is used once and left in the garage for the rest of the year, it still pays the same (assuming same car type, and no SORN) as the road warrior salesmen doing 50k a year, so total emissions are not accounted for.

Also why would you need twice the clearance for two cyclists riding two abreast? You only need to give adequate clearance to the nearest cyclist you are passing, and they stil both take up less room than one car.

All this pointless talk makes me glad I live in france where despite a generally poor quality of driving, motorists don't seem to get too fussed that cyclists are using 'their' roads and are only too happy to give space when passing.

yorkshireman - on 29 May 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> The correct answer to "You aren't entitled to be on the road because you don't pay road tax" is not pointless pedantry, it's to point out that that's because a cycle neither damages the road surface to a noticeable extent nor emits pollution at the point of use (unless the rider has eaten egg and beans

No.

The correct answer to that statement is quite simply 'bollox'

timjones - on 29 May 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> Err, no I'm not :-)
>
> It would be simpler (and fairer) to simply get rid of VED and put the duty on to fuel - you do more miles = pay more tax; if you have an inefficient vehicle then you pay more tax. What this would fail to do is provide a check on MOT and insurance when renewing the VED, oh and what would all those people in DVLA down in Swansea have to do?
>

You'd do a lot more for your case if you dropped the silly semantics and appreciated that a tax that is only payable if you use the road is going to be widely considered as a road tax.

By focusing on silly semantics you will alienate a lot of your allies, who don't want to be constantly lectured on what you think they should call a tax or duty.
timjones - on 29 May 2013
In reply to yorkshireman:
>
> Also why would you need twice the clearance for two cyclists riding two abreast? You only need to give adequate clearance to the nearest cyclist you are passing, and they stil both take up less room than one car.
>

I'd suggest that it would be foolish not to allow extra clearance. Maybe not twice as much but certainly more than you would for a single cyclist.
Richiehill - on 29 May 2013
In reply to benallan: As has been covered a numerous other posts. The majority of car users' opinions and attitudes are that everyone has equal right to use the road.

Just like the majority of cyclists are courteous road users that understand how frustrating it is being held up by slower moving traffic.

It becomes a problem when you get the minority of cyclists riding three or more abreast with five or six rows when the road is blatently too small for that kind of cycling then saying "The Highway Code is just a guidance tool" when they meet the minority of car drivers that are equally impatient, arrogant and ignorant.

There should also be a test for all cyclists that use the road before they do so. During this they should "drum into every" cyclist what they can and cannot do and simple road etiquette just because a minority can't ride with other people in mind.
yorkshireman - on 29 May 2013
In reply to timjones:
> (In reply to a lakeland climber)

> appreciated that a tax that is only payable if you use the road is going to be widely considered as a road tax.

I agree this is getting boring BUT:

A FEE is something that is paid in order to get something in return.

A TAX is paid regardless of whether you benefit from whatever that tax gets spent on, and isn't optional.

When I lived in the UK, I was generally healthy and had private medical cover, didn't have kids and always had a job. I never received schooling for my (non-existent) children, paid more to the NHS than I cost them, and didn't receive unemployment benefit.

I couldn't opt out of paying for these by not receiving the benefits*.

You can avoid paying 'road tax' by not running a vehicle on the roads that incurs VED. This means its not a tax. Why are we struggling with this?

*I'm just trying to illustrate a point - I know there are indirect benefits to a healthy and educated economy but I think that's another thread.
timjones - on 29 May 2013
In reply to yorkshireman:

Nobody is struggling with it. The suggestion is that pointlessly arguing about the semantics of widely used terms makes cyclists look like a load of pedantic taunts :-)

Relax about the minor stuff and focus on the real issues!
Nevis-the-cat - on 29 May 2013
In reply to yorkshireman:

Exactly.

Best to think of it as an emissions levy. No rights are conferred by paying it.

Whilst it does not apply to vehicles used off road, I suspect this is as much due to the mechanics of policing the levy and redcuing cost to primarily agricultural vehicles, much like (most) agricultural buildings do not attract a rating liability.

THe pedalers get uppity because people conflact a "tax" with a "right to use", which personally is a bit fukkin rich as I've got a Band M and a Band G motor parked on the drive and already pay my fair share of VAt, PAYE, fuel duty and every othe tax that goes into the Exchequer.
MG - on 29 May 2013
In reply to Nevis-the-cat: Is your profile picutre your usual cycling atire?
timjones - on 29 May 2013
In reply to Nevis-the-cat:
> (In reply to yorkshireman)
>
> Exactly.
>
> Best to think of it as an emissions levy. No rights are conferred by paying it.

You can think of it however you like, other people may well hold different views :-)
a lakeland climber on 29 May 2013
In reply to timjones:

You'd do a lot more for your case if you actually read what I'd written.

As others have pointed out, VED is payable on all motorised vehicles unless they have a SORN. The only exception to this is for vehicles that never go on roads. If you drive a vehicle from the dealership to your house and then leave it there, the dealer will have registered it and paid VED for the first six months/year. At the end of that period you either have to renew the VED (and pay the "whatever you want to call it") or sign the SORN. You could have a summer car and a winter car: one has a SORN and the other has VED paid on it, you just swap them twice a year.

To repeat my previous point, it would be simpler to put VED/Road tax/car tax on to the cost of fuel.

ALC
timjones - on 29 May 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> You'd do a lot more for your case if you actually read what I'd written.
>
> As others have pointed out, VED is payable on all motorised vehicles unless they have a SORN. The only exception to this is for vehicles that never go on roads. If you drive a vehicle from the dealership to your house and then leave it there, the dealer will have registered it and paid VED for the first six months/year. At the end of that period you either have to renew the VED (and pay the "whatever you want to call it") or sign the SORN. You could have a summer car and a winter car: one has a SORN and the other has VED paid on it, you just swap them twice a year.
>
> To repeat my previous point, it would be simpler to put VED/Road tax/car tax on to the cost of fuel.
>

I don't need to make a case I'm perfectly happy to continue calling it road tax along with a very significant number of other drivers :-)

For most of us that makes absolutely no difference to how we view or treat other road users. Consideration is the key on both sides!

Neil Williams - on 29 May 2013
In reply to yorkshireman:

Because it's unduly picky. Most people consider "duty" and "tax" to be the same thing.

To most people, a tax is a fee payable to the Government.

This semantic debate also has nothing to do with the argument regarding cyclists, and bringing it up then devalues the argument.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 29 May 2013
In reply to yorkshireman:

In any case, you can avoid paying most VAT by living a very basic lifestyle. Is that therefore not a tax either?

Neil
Richard Carter - on 31 May 2013
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

Your post about the CO2 produced when cycling reminded me of this little gem!

"You claim that it is environmentally friendly to ride a bike. But if I am not mistaken, a cyclists [sic] has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider. Since CO2 is deemed to be a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride."

-Ed Orcutt

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/05/bicyclists_as_polluters/

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