Good old Boris is at it again.
Boris the Lord Mayor of London has introduced another stealth tax for bikers in the capital
£12.50 a day for old bikes that have a higher emissions. Higher than WHAT ?
I am working in London Weds Thurs this week and yes I do live in Manchester so under normal small job policy, I would take a chance and drive my 257,000 mile 1998 Toyota van there and back at 55 mph, as any faster and its scary.
But no the LEZ (London Emissions Zone) charge old van owners £100 a day.
YES £100 to drive into Greater London, on top of all then other taxes like higher road tax cos its 2.0 ltrs, Insurance tax, highest fuel prices and tax in Europe.
On top of that IF I was going into central london, I would have to pay another Congestion charge.... so adding £225 to my work costs for two days.
When I get to my destination, I am working in a shop on a main road in Islington where there is two parking spots with a 1 hour maximum parking zone. For just £5.00 an hour.
So if I get there and one of then spots is actually free, I will have to find another spot, then another, then another for the average 12 hour day. adding £60 to my day. £120 added.
So how do all these charges decrease the air pollution and free the roads for the rich drivers and buses and taxi's. They don't. The capital is still solid traffic all day.
Why or how does anyone work in the capital. I am there to do a job that I can, I need and I am the only person in the UK that can do it. Yes I charge extra for all the above, but not one of these stealth taxes does any good to the voting public. They all just add our ££'s to London Government departments.
Charges added to this 2 day job
Van hire ( a modern van with LEZ compliant engine) £125
Carbon offset. 70-80 MPH for 250 miles More than my van
So it costs me extra, therefore the customer extra, they pay higher tax and the exchequer get richer.
When I hear today that the once free to ride central London roads on an old bike will be changed
and a new TAX for high emission bikes of £12.50 a day has been approved.
In who's tax inventing brain was the concept that a 1 or 2 cylinder bike of any age blows out higher carbon dioxide than a V8 Rolls Royce, a 5 ltrs Rangerover, a million mile Black cab or the best one a bloody great big London bus.
Lets get this right.
If you are in a low paid job or trade and need transport, and live in the LEZ zone, you can't buy that old van. Add to that if you want to take advantage of the easy way to get across London and get an old bike, forget it.
This of course shouldn't bother me as I live up'th North. BUT what London does the rest of the country follows.
Manchester has a mini version of the M25 (M60). They are currently spending millions of squids converting it into a 'Smart' motorway. Why ??? because they can then legally fit stealth tax cameras and get all the money back in speeding fines, they actually make money whilst hiding under the banner of safer, less congested roads.
Worked for the M25.... NOT. Its one big car park.
Gentlemen and ladies of the ABR. IF and when those with the clout get to the point where a bike road block demonstration is held in London, go, take part, even better start a demo in every city in the country. We the biking community have a massive and powerful membership/number/brother hood and could show any government that like the FRENCH we care, we can show these office bound tax collectors that just inventing new ways to fleece the public is not on.
The power under you pants is not powerless to vote with your pals.