Manchester’s Mr & Mrs Motormouth think cyclists should pay up or shut up

The couple in the helmetcam video below believe they pay road tax and that cyclists don’t.

They’re right. Cyclists don’t pay road tax. Can’t: it doesn’t exist. It was abolished in 1937, a process started 11 years earlier by Winston Churchill.

Just like the rest of Britain’s car owners, the motor-mouth couple pay Vehicle Excise Duty, a tax on vehicles (the clue is in the name). VED is not a payment to use roads or a payment to fix or build roads.

But that’s clearly how the couple see it. In their world, an annual payment gives them the overarching right to use the road. Cyclists are lesser beings, they don’t pay ‘road tax’ so have fewer rights, perhaps even none.

Using a stabbing, pointing finger, Mrs Motormouth – the passenger – told helmetcam-wearing Jobysp “You don’t pay road tax, you’ve got no right…”

She meant no right to tell her hubby to slow down: Jobysp reckoned the driver was doing 30+mph in a 20mph zone, and had voiced his opinions.

Mr and Mrs Motormouth didn’t like this. Not one little bit.

“You have no say on the roads whatsoever,” said Mrs Motormouth, with gusto.

Then the killer line, so pithy it might even be rehearsed, and projected at cyclists regularly: “No pay, no say.”

Mr & Mrs Motormouth are not rogue Mancunian petrolheads. Their worldview is shared by many. Cyclists don’t pay to use roads, motorists do, so cyclists are there on sufferance at best. At worst, cyclists can be nudged, shunted, shouted at and otherwise abused.

That somebody on a bike might also own a car – but choose not to use it for every journey – doesn’t register with some people. But, of course, a car-owning cyclist who pays ‘car tax’ has no greater right to the road than a car-free cyclist. Roads are paid for out of general taxation.

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