On this day last year, Peter Roberts, Director of Drivers’ Alliance Ltd, a membership organisation opposed to road pricing and pretty much anything that slows down motorists (including traffic lights and speed cameras), said there was such a thing as ‘road tax’ while giving his point of view in a Transport Committee meeting.
On 17th December 2008, Graham Stringer MP (Labour, Manchester Blackley) said: “We have talked a lot about the magnitude of the tax-take from motorists. What is a fair method of taxing?
Part of Peter Roberts’ reply was: “I think there is an argument to remove VED, take away the road tax, if you like, and place that on to fuel.”
He knew what VED is, but couldn’t resist sub-titling it as ‘road tax’.
The slip-up can be found in the House of Commons Transport Committee’s ‘Taxes and charges on road users’ report, published in July.
The Drivers’ Alliance as you’d pretty much expect isn’t terribly pro-cycling
One of its bloggers calls cyclists “lycra uniformed eco-fascists.” Bizarrely, this blogger then goes on to say such cyclists “cause the bulk of potential danger on our urban roads, civilian pleasure cyclists are hardly ever a problem.”
Civilian? Is this a war?
If so, Peter Roberts is the one of the generals and Jeremy Clarkson is Chief of Staff.
Roberts doesn’t like the idea of the EU Fifth Motoring Directive, the rule – common throughout much of the EU – that says an HGV has to be operated to be mindful of cars (and other, smaller road users); a car must be operated to be mindful of cyclists and pedestrians; and bicycles must be operated to be mindful of pedestrians.
In the event of a collision between an HGV and a car, the HGV driver would have to prove he wasn’t at fault. Ditto for motorists who prang cyclists and cyclists who prang pedestrians: the strong must always bend to the weak.
Roberts is having none of this:
“Just how will this insane idea help cyclists improve their road skills when they are effectively immune to traffic laws and will always get compensation in the event of an accident whilst the car driver is left to pick up the costs and repair the damage to his/her car?
How many ‘accidents’ will there be whilst a stationary car is at the traffic lights and a cyclist ‘collides’ with it damaging the car whilst the ‘victim’ on the bike claims thousands in compensation for their ‘injuries’?
The links to Driversalliance.org.uk require registration.