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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.