Should cyclists pay to use the roads?

  hastelloy 09:37 26 Jan 2018

Following from the recent discussion about motorists.

I know many (?) cyclists prefer pavements but include this as road use (albeit illegal) should cyclists be insured when out in public? Part on the premium would be insurance tax which could go towards road maintenance.

Probably very difficult to police - what do you think?

  Cymro. 09:48 26 Jan 2018

Yes very difficult to police plus very unpopular with cyclists but I certainly think there should be some discussion about it. I think or assume such a tax exists in some countries so if it works for others then why not for us.

  oresome 10:05 26 Jan 2018

It could be argued that cyclists are doing us all a service by reducing pollution and congestion and perhaps we should encourage them.

Perhaps a levy on the motorist to buy them a new bike every 5 years.

  canarieslover 10:07 26 Jan 2018

It would effectively cut the number of cyclists on the road, or at least fill our courts with young offenders who got their bike for Christmas or birthday. A large number of cyclists already contribute by VED on their cars anyway, I contribute on my car and motorcycle, and most responsible cyclists also make sure they have insurance. With government trying to encourage more cyclists I think this would have exactly the opposite effect.

  Brumas 10:14 26 Jan 2018

Never mind the cyclists it is the damn caravans, which take up the same room as a car, that should be taxed!!

I'll get my coat.....

  Forum Editor 10:49 26 Jan 2018

If you go to Shanghai, or Beijing, or some of China's other big cities you will see thousands and thousands of brightly-coloured rental bikes on the streets - there are over half a million of them in Shanghai alone.

Cyclists rent the bikes using a phone app. Each bike is lockable. It has a QR code on the frame, and you scan this using the app. That unlocks the bike, and off you go. When you've finished with it, you park the bike anywhere you like, and lock it with your phone. The app charges your bank account for the time you've used - the charges are low.

The next user comes along, and starts the whole process over again. It means that there are bikes pretty well everywhere in the city, whenever you want one.

The operators pay the city authorities a tax based on the number of rides recorded, so riders are, in effect paying a road tax. It all works very well - so well in fact, that the city authorities have had to impose a limit on the number of bikes that can be put on the road by the hire companies. Operators say that each bike only has to have 2.5 rides a day recorded for the operation to break even. Most bikes are used far more often than that.

There's no gain without pain, however. The system has been so successful that the biggest operator has expanded into America and you'll see the bikes in New York and San Francisco. Their success has been such that San Francisco authorities have ordered the company to remove their bikes from the city, they were causing problems as people left them all over the place outside rail stations etc. In Beijing they have had a problem with broken bikes being dumped in parks and car-parks.

  wee eddie 10:49 26 Jan 2018

Brumas: I'm with you all the way

  Belatucadrus 11:23 26 Jan 2018

The system has been so successful

But even so they do have their problems, in short chronic oversupply. Check out the mountain of excess rental bikes.

Click Here

  bumpkin 23:06 26 Jan 2018


There are going to be a few that fail their MOT:-)

  Quickbeam 01:22 27 Jan 2018

I'll go with oresome's cunning plan!

But I'm not too sure that motorists would be prepared to pay a lot more road tax to pay for them...

  BT 09:24 27 Jan 2018

Forum Editor

Cyclists rent the bikes using a phone app

There is a scheme just like this in Norwich and other places in the UK already.

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