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Time to tax cyclists
8:00am Thursday 7th June 2012 in Letters
Sir – After the brilliantly thought-out decision to close the centre of Oxford all day for a cycle race (the rush-hour traffic towards the station stretched back up Walton Street to the Oxford University Press), a thought arises. Shouldn’t cyclists, like other road users, pay some sort of road tax — say, £50 a year? It would help the police control the horde of lost, abandoned or stolen cycles.
And, in these straitened economic times, it would help the redistribution of wealth to the genuinely needy.
Cyclists — or at least quite a lot of them — must be reasonably affluent or they wouldn’t be able to take a working day off to participate in a cycle ride.
I realise that this proposal will cause a bit of controversy in a city where cycling is next to godliness — if not a couple of notches above it. And I wonder what would happen if I, as a Jaguar owner, went to the authorities and said that I, and a few like-minded friends, would like to organise a Jaguar race round the city-centre in the rush hour. I can guess the answer, despite the fact that we are, in some small degree, responsible for shifting jobs from Stuttgart to the West Midlands.
Nigel Clarke, Oxford