26 NOVEMBER 2018


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

Article from BTNews 26 NOVEMBER 2018

COMMENT: Cyclists and the highway

Business Travel News is not anti-cyclists. In fact they have an important role to play in society, keeping the user fit with an environmentally-friendly form of transport.

What BTN is against is the endless growth in legislation designed only in their favour.

Cyclists do not pay vehicle tax nor have an insurance requirement. The riders require no form of licence, which means the police have great difficulty penalising those breaking the road use laws. Crash helmets are not compulsory.

The latest we read about is fines seemingly to be introduced by the Department for Transport on motorists who park in cycle lanes.  This is not to be discussed in Parliament. According to reports, councils could impose charges of up to £70, rising to as much as £130.

Has anybody at the DfT thought of the repercussions? 

BTN is not against well-thought-out cycle tracks on certain roads where on-street parking is not possible.

Where simply madness intervenes is on the miles of suburban streets with narrow cycle lanes painted without thought, hardly used by bikes, and perfect for parking cars on the highway. Where are all the vehicles going to hide? They are a fact of life.

Before local councils add cycle lanes, it should be necessary for them to ensure alternative parking is available for cars in the area. Perhaps that is unrealistic, but at the very least legislation should be laid before the public, and a well-publicised democratic discussion promulgated.

Streets with restricted parking are being added all over the place, clearly no more than as a revenue source for councils. Of course people don’t want parking outside their houses, but the roads are the public highway. There has to be give and take.

(See also Clampdown on cycle lanes in this issue).

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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

david W,

@malcolm Cyclists are charged the same amount as an electric car as their emissions are nil. Furthermore, the damage & wear to roads is the making of cars & lorries, not bikes. And what about the 90%+ of cyclists who own a car (like me)?

Malcolm Ginsberg, London

It is true that the roads are paid for from general taxation but that does not take away that cars are charged to use them and cyclist's use the facility for free.

David W,

@davidstarkie - perhaps rant is OTT, but this website has had previous digs at cycling. The 3rd paragraph in this article is unnecessary - and given roads are paid for out of general taxation, not vehicle tax - then the suggestion cyclists don't pay their way is incorrect. It's promoting a them & us environment.

Russell Dudley, London

If the collected fines are invested into highway infrastructure maintenance, such as resurfacing and mending potholes, for the benefit of all users, no problem. Having encountered a verbally aggressive cyclist riding the wrong way toward me on a one-way street recently and witnessing daily the lack of basic awareness some cyclists show of the highway code and respect for other users (I appreciate the same could be said for many motorists), perhaps this revenue could be used by local government to rethink how this road 'sharing' could be better managed as has been demonstrated in other EU states and cities.

David Starkie, London

It is a sad comment on modern society that this expression of a point of view results in responses using emotive language like 'rant' and 'having form'.

Norman Bartlett, Chelmsford

Your own words: \'roads are the public highway\' not a public parkimg place. Businesses should make provision for parking at their premises not opt out an expect the highway authority to provide it.

David W, Leics

You've form on this subject - and a total lack of A) factual information & B) an ability to see beyond the end of your bonnet. Limiting a reply to 100 words stops a proper debate to your rant too.

John Mountifield, Farnham, Surrey

Nothing John - this is a travel focused product - aviation is an element.

Malcolm Ginsberg, London

Business Travel News covers all forms of transport used by the business traveller.

Louise Murray, London

I agree, sounds like a purely personal rant. No place for it in BTN

John Morris,

What has this to do with aviation?