Cyclists-are-a-menace debater fuels ‘road tax’ myth

Cyclists away first from the lights

The Spectator magazine held a £28-a-head public debate last night on the merits and demerits of cycling. The motion – ‘Cyclists are a menace’ – was roundly defeated but, true to form, one of the sticks used to hit cyclists with was – to mix metaphors – the old road tax chestnut.

The Telegraph’s London editor Andrew Gilligan – one of the debaters – carries an excellent report on the debate.

Chaired by political journalist Andrew Neil, the speakers against the motion, aside from Gilligan, were former London mayor Ken Livingstone; and Andrew Gimson, parliamentary sketch writer for the Daily Telegraph.

Speakers for the motion were Conservative Peer Baroness Sharples; Stephen Pound, MP for Ealing North; and Daily Mail reporter David Thomas.

When, from the floor, Richard Monk, the CTC Cycle Champions officer for Colchester, said he was involved with encouraging more cyclists “on to the road”, the Daily Mail reporter, true to form, asked whether cyclists paid tax towards those roads.

Some motorists just can’t help themselves.