AA President Edmund King has given his backing to the iPayRoadTax.com initiative, applauding the website as a great example of online campaigning and calling its jerseys “ironic, iconic, iconoclastic” – and the keen cyclist has even been out on his bike sporting one.
While you’d expect the head of a motoring organisation with around 15 million members to have a better grasp than most of the intricacies of vehicle taxation, King’s public support of the website, which seeks to dispel myths about ‘road tax,’ is testimony to the campaign’s success.
King was speaking at a seminar at Newcastle University, during his inaugural lecture as Visiting Professor working with the Transport Operations Research Group, according to cycle trade website BikeBiz, whose executive editor, Carlton Reid, came up with the idea for iPayRoadTax.com last November.
Reid was at yesterday’s lecture, where King told him that the jersey was “great quality - I love the little zipped pocket at the back,” adding, “my kids loved it, too."
His inspiration for the side came from a post on the social networking site Twitter, in which a user wondered whether he should wear a cycling jersey emblazoned with a tax disc due to the oft-repeated – and inaccurate – mantra from some drivers that cyclists shouldn’t be on the road since they don’t pay ‘road tax.’
As iPayRoadTax.com makes clear, road tax itself was actually abolished in 1937, completing a process initiated by Winston Churchill in 1926. And while most motorists do pay Vehicle Excise Duty, funds raised through it do not go towards highway construction and maintenance, which are instead paid for out of general taxation.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.