This article was published in 1999, in Newsletter 24.
|Caroline Newman with half the solution
We need help. We are currently car bound – having two youngsters of one year and nearly three. We both have bicycles and already have a rear seat which we can use on both bikes. Ideally we’d like a front seat that we could also transfer between the two bikes. We had hoped that the Hamax seat would do the trick, but unfortunately the smaller of our bikes is a 19 3/4 inch frame and the Hamax bracket will not fit it.
We have looked at trailers but the cost and lack of storage space for it put us off. We are also not very keen on the saddle-type of seat as we know of accidents involving these.
Do any Campaign members know of a solution to our problems?
Caroline Newman and Mark Webb
Road Fund Licence
This letter’s genuine. We often get comments on the Stall like this, but this time someone felt strongly enough to write.
You clearly have plenty to say for yourself so how about reminding me what the current road fund licence is for a bicycle?
mmmm thought so
…as George Washington could have said ‘No Representation without Taxation’
The Snowball Family
Dear unidentified member of the Snowball family,
You did pay your pavement walking licence last year, didn’t you? No? I am afraid you do not understand how the taxation system works.
1. Cycle provision (what little there is) is paid for out of local authority funds. These come from Council Tax, and government grants which are in turn funded from general taxation: income tax, VAT and so on. Cyclists pay these taxes just like everyone else. Small amounts of funding are also sometimes obtained from developers in mitigation for the extra traffic their developments bring. Sustrans has also obtained some lottery funding for leisure cycling.
2. A car licence is not a means of paying for roads. It is a tax on a luxury item. It is also part (a small part) of general taxation. The tax disc never paid for roads, other than by adding to the general taxation pool, any more than the tax on alcohol subsidises pubs.
3. In any case, taxes on vehicles do not cover the full cost of roads and traffic and the damage they do. Therefore, everyone, including cyclists, subsidises motorists out of general taxation.
4. In the significant numbers in our area, cyclists help to reduce traffic congestion. Each cyclist is one fewer car in front of you in the traffic jam.
Around £800 of the tax I pay each year funds schools. I do not have any children. I have no problem with this use of funds, because education benefits society in general, and of course because it has benefited me in the past. I am sorry you do not take a similar attitude with respect to cycling, even though my cycling benefits you directly in terms of less pollution and less congestion.
PS I think George Washington was wrong in any case!