Cyclists should pay, says MP

BICYCLE riders should pay registration fees to help legitimise their place on the roads and pay for infrastructure and safety campaigns, says the Federal Opposition spokesman on sports, Pat Farmer.

His plan has received a mixed response from bicycle lobby groups. It is less than a month since the NRMA questioned spending taxpayer dollars on barely used cycle paths.

Mr Farmer said motorists often complained it was unfair for cyclists to use roads without paying registration costs. A bicycle levy would make such an argument redundant and could increase government funding for bike lanes, he said.

“We need to work with cyclists and cycling associations to come up with a levy … so that we’ve got some money to support them with much-needed infrastructure and to justify them being on the road.”

Mr Farmer, who recently moved from his western Sydney electorate of Macarthur to Mosman, is yet to determine the cost of the levy but said it could be administered at bike shops and applied to people over the minimum driving age.

The Minister for Roads, Eric Roozendaal, dismissed the idea, saying bike riding would remain a free activity in NSW.

“Mr Farmer should get himself a long-distance Malvern Star racer and enjoy the free bike ride between his new home in Mosman and his electorate in Campbelltown,” he said.

Bicycle NSW said it supported initiatives that seek to legitimise cycling. “A form of bike registration or levy may help achieve this,” said its chief executive, Alex Unwin.

But the Cycling Promotion Fund, a bicycle industry lobby group, said a levy would discourage bicycle use.

“There is no country around the world which has registration for bicycles, and the revenue raised would be quite low,” said the organisation’s program director, Rosemarie Speidel.

Preliminary results from a study undertaken on behalf of the Department of Health and Ageing found cyclists saved more than $82 million in public health costs, almost $64 million in traffic congestion-related costs and $9 million in greenhouse gas-related costs.



4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I sat bollocks to the MP

The car road tax does not all go to road maintenance.

London Olympics 2012 will be big for cycling

Comment by Arun

Why tax cyclists who do not consume masses of CO2. Must be mad to cross the cycling lobby.

Comment by Stuart Cross

rubbish we should encourage cycling for its green credentials and for health

Comment by london olympics

the government should be promoting cycling full stop

Comment by health care forum

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