Does new Transport Minister know who pays for roads?

Car tax poster

In an interview in tonight’s London Evening Standard, Phillip Hammond, the new Transport Secretary, said:

“People feel, rightly, that our present roads are something they have already paid for with their taxes.”

This was to poo-poo the idea of road charging and, technically, is dead right. The mistake would be if the Minister had said “motoring taxes.”

But, in an email, Dr. Robert Davis, chair of the Road Danger Reduction Forum, said:

“[Mr Hammond] doesn’t say that this is from VED or ‘road tax’, but it doesn’t help with the myth that motorists have ‘paid for the road’ while cyclists, implicitly, haven’t.”

Phillip Hammond is no Lord Adonis: no chance of him cycling to work, despite the Mayor of London’s tweet today pointing out that the Transport Secretary has agreed to go on a bike ride with Boris.

Hammond told the Evening Standard: “I’ve never actually cycled in London. I’d have to take a deep breath. I think you need to know what you are doing to cycle in London. Cyclists need to be more aware of the risks around them. It frightens me to death when I see them pull out around other cyclists, completely unaware there is a car behind. Maybe they need wing mirrors?”

Wing mirrors? He jests?

He is “not sure of the logic” of green bike-only boxes, ie advanced stop line reservoirs. He’s also in favour of separation: “We have to make [cycling] less risky. The more separation you can create between cyclists and motorists the better.”

One simple way to make cycling less risky – and, it’s free, something to be welcomed in the current age of austerity – is for the Minister to shout from the rooftops that ‘road tax’ does not exist; motorists do not pay for roads; and that cyclists have equal rights on roads.
 
Bloody Tax Dodgers

  • http://twitter.com/Greg_Collins Greg Collins

    Perhaps he is the Minister for Motorised Transport

  • http://twitter.com/Greg_Collins Greg Collins

    Perhaps he is the Minister for Motorised Transport

  • Leon

    i'm aware of cars behind me… they make loud noises most of the time, and i normally look before turning or pulling out…

  • http://www.combingmyhair.com Gareth

    Maybe I have an evolutionary advantage or two over Mr Hammond – my head rotates on a thing called a neck and my eyes have the ability to swivel in their sockets. I thought that this was commonplace but now I'm wondering if I am ahead of my time

  • michael morris

    hi there fellow cyclists, i disagree with wing mirrors because when you look in them you like the car drivers have a blind spot that you cannot see behind, that is why i use my head all the time as it gives you a 360 vision all round.

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    I couldn't possibly comment…

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Exactly. I really hope the new Transport Minister was just kidding.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/AWLRO2CYEHUUVGCKNB27IEQK7Y Dan

    I did write a long letter after the ES article on Hammond and his strangely uneducated ramblings. However I felt it would just be brushed aside. I now plan on writing a more cohesive letter to him explaining why I think cycling in general needs more focus.

    Again, I doubt he'll read it, but it will hopefully be less ranty at his ignorance.

  • martin

    You might be interested in posts like this: http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unneces

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Thanks, Martin. I twittered that, and responded, too.

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    MPs – and ministers – like getting letters. Makes them feel wanted.

  • martin
  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Thanks, Martin. I twittered that, and responded, too.

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    MPs – and ministers – like getting letters. Makes them feel wanted.

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