The iPayRoadTax jersey has taken a big step towards its debut on Britain's roads with the unveiling of three potential designs – now iPayRoadTax founder and his partners at jersey makers Foska would like you to help decide which of the three is the best. All you have to do is follow the link to Foska.com cast your eye over the designs (you can look at them here too) and vote for your favourite – you can also register your interest in buying one, but you don't have to.
We've been reporting on the progress of the iPayRoadTax jersey since Carlton Reid had his eureka! moment last month. Cyclists do pay towards the upkeep of the roads of course and Carlton's brainwave was a jersey that made the point in a clear and humourous way. The idea hit a nerve and he had an unbelievable response from cyclists up and down the country leading to a partnership with Foska - renowned for their, er…eye-catching jerseys.
The three short-listed designs certainly meet the brief of grabbing your attention and making the point – and they look good too. In the interests of a fair vote Carlton wouldn't tell us which jersey was in the lead, but there is a clear leader, but only just. Voting remains tight with the three between them attracting 30, 33, and 37 per cent of the 400 votes cast so far. Voting is open until the 31st of December after which the winning design will be turned in to the official iPayRoadTax.Com jersey.
All three jersey designs make use of a stylised 'road tax disc' which as most cyclists will already know, but very few motorists appreciate, is not actually a road tax disc at all, it's a vehicle excise disc issued as proof of payment of vehicle excise duty (VED) which is calculated on the basis of the wear and tear inflicted on the roads by a particular type of vehicle – it's a tax on cars, vans, and lorries and the proceeds aren't necessarily used to pay for the roads upkeep the money goes back to the Exchequer.
The roads themselves are paid for out of general taxation so are paid for by everyone who pays tax, including cyclists. Were VED applied to bicycles the cost of collecting it would far outweigh the amount that could be charged and, given the basis on which it is calculated, would open up the equally ridiculous possibility of levying it on pedestrians, pushchairs and wheelchairs. Equally, if motorists had to pay the true cost of building and maintaining the fabric of the nation's road network through a hypothecated 'road tax' they would be paying far more then they presently do.
The difference between road tax (abolished in 1936) and VED is lost on many people, it is important though as iPayRoadTax.com points out, and there are those who ought to know better including organisations like the DVLA, the AA, BBC, various police forces and Mps all of whom as Carlton points out on iPayRoadTax.com routinely use the term road tax for what is actually VED as Carlton says “If Vehicle Excise Duty is too much – and it is a mouthful – use car tax or vehicle tax”.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.