Reader’s letter: Motorists v cyclists?
Every time some traffic rule is introduced at which car drivers seem to take offence, such as is the subject of Lee Hines of Newent’s letter (Gazette July 13), they always have to have a go at cyclists, as if cyclists are the cause of their perceived persecution.
There is nothing new about this rule, the Littering from Vehicles Outside London (Keeper’s; Civil Penalties) Regulations 2018 gave the power to local councils to fine the owner/driver if this offence is proven and for some reason it has only recently become general knowledge that the Forest of Dean District Council has this power.
Does he honestly believe that cyclists drink from single use plastic bottles or swig a can of beer, coke, etc. and throw it away when, in fact, those who feel the need to drink on the go would invariably use reusable drinks containers that fit the bottle cages fitted to the frame of the bike? And would a cyclist eat a burger and chips or Chinese meal on the go and discard the polystyrene box or other wrappings on the side of the road?
As for the supposition that “Britain is one of the few European countries which doesn’t insist on bikes having licence plates”, apart from common knowledge a simple google search will find the answer – none do.
Then there is the usual old canard that cyclists should pay so called “Road Tax” which has not existed for decades as a tax to build and maintain roads, it all goes into and comes out of general taxation. Vehicles pay Vehicle Excise Duty based on emissions. So what duty should a zero emissions bicycle pay? Zero. And you will find that most cyclists will say they own a car, or cars, on which they pay duty which they are still paying when they are cycling instead of driving.
This constant apparent stirring up of conflict between cyclists and drivers is unnecessary and can lead to escalation and more danger on the road. You would not experience this atmosphere in the more enlightened European countries like Denmark and Holland. What it is about U.K. drivers? I have strong opinion but let’s not escalate the conflict, eh?
Eric Nicholls (e-bike rider and car driver), Harrow Hill, Drybrook
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