Pay £5 and ride on a White Elephant

£0 Bicycle Excise Duty fake tax disc

Roll up! Roll up! Pay a fiver and you can ride on the M74, a yet-to-open motorway built with cash from cyclists (and every other British tax-payer). But it’s only for a day.

Mind you, it’s not often you get to ride a bike on a motorway, legally. Motorways are normally forbidden to cyclists, even though we help pay for them, via income tax. Such roads aren’t paid for out of ‘road tax’, as this doesn’t exist. Motorways are paid for by the Exchequer out of the consolidated fund i.e. Treasury coffers.

The motorway ride, to be staged Sunday 22nd May, in the centre of Glasgow, is being billed as the ‘M74 Bike ‘n’ Hike, a “one off opportunity to raise funds for charity”.

The event will start at the west end of the new motorway, at the Shields Road Car Park, Scotland Street, Glasgow and take participants onto the motorway to do an “out and back” walk, run or cycle to Polmadie Road (4 km round trip) or over the full length to Fullarton Roundabout (14km round trip).


UPDATE: Here’s a quick video of the event:


The event is limited to 20,000 participants. There’s a bit more info on this PDF.

The 8km M74 motorway extension cost £692 million. Read that again. Yes, eight kilometres of road cost £692 million to build. A road that will quickly fill with cars, not solving any congestion long-term. Just think what kind of ‘active transport’ infrastructure could be built across the UK for £692 million.

And then consider how much could be built for £2.3 billion. That’s the projected cost of the new Forth Road Bridge. Apparently, the old one will be dedicated to buses and cyclists but what’s the betting that won’t happen?

++++++++++ is an ironically-named campaign supporting the road rights of cyclists. The message that cyclists have equal rights on the roads is carried on iPayRoadTax t-shirts and jerseys.