Monday, July 01, 2013

Tension cools between fast lane and cycle lane

Consumer Intelligence has released a report that shows how cyclists are grinding motorists' gears. The vast majority of drivers are griped by cyclists who aren’t insured, don’t wear helmets and cycle dangerously, and would like to see new rules introduced to make insurance and helmets compulsory.

A large majority (83%) said they think cyclists should have to pass the equivalent of a driving test before they’re allowed on the roads. A third would also like cyclists to pay ‘road tax’, or vehicle excise duty, which is compulsory for motorists but not for cyclists.

But motorists hankering after a bit of road rage over these findings may be disappointed. Most two-wheelers actually agree that helmets and road safety tests ought to be compulsory, while over a third are happy to buy insurance.

Bicycle campaigners have noted – rather facetiously – that nobody pays ‘road tax’, since it was abolished in 1937. But whatever it’s called, this doesn’t alter the fact that car and van owners pay a tax to use the roads – vehicle exsice duty – which cyclists do not.

So it seems the biggest debate, for once, isn’t over who cut up who at a roundabout, but the semantics relating to a piece of legislation. Maybe relations are cooling between the fast lane and the cycle lane.


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