Outrage at zero-percent fare rise for cyclists

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

bicycle eco town Rail passengers and motorists have been seen to be outraged by the unfairness of the transport system, as it was announced that cycling costs would rise by a zero percent in 2012, remaining at absolutely nil. Rail fares are to rise by 5.9% in January, while petrol prices remain as high as drivers’ stress levels and are rising in the UK.

When you encounter drivers the certainly do not have anything good to say about cyclists – and at times there is some truth in it as some cyclists act as if the rules of the road do not apply to them.

However, the main complaint I hear from drivers is “cyclist should not be allowed to be out (on the road) as they don't pay road tax” and the other favorite one is as to cyclists not having to have an insurance and then the claim is made that more accidents are caused by cyclists.

To some extent some cyclists have only themselves to blame for the antipathy they receive from motorists, as I have indicated already. Riding across a junction – even if ever so careful – when the lights are red (but there is no one coming the other way) does not make for friends and nor do some other antics.

Motorists, on the other hand, and other commuters, only have themselves to blame for choosing transport options that cost them dearly. With average commuting distances only 8.5 miles in Britain, it seems ludicrous to use a car or even the train.

Fair enough, I use the train when I have to get into London and the bus to do certain shopping but any other trip is on the bicycle as (1) I do not have a car and not even a license for a car and (2) I would not want to deal with the madness that is the motor traffic on the roads of this country.

However, when I watch how many people use the car to just go up the road to get the paper, or a pint of milk, or whatever, and you do not even need your car to go shopping at the larger supermarkets. I am proof of that. Most of them – supermarkets that is – whether Sainsbury's, Tesco, Morrisons, etc., are within only a mile or two distance for most who live in the suburbs.

It is a different fact, I know, when you live in some rural village, even just down the road from us, so to speak. It then is a different story as to distance but even that can still be done with a bike.

The greatest benefit aside from saving money with regards to cycling, and that is money for the fuel (especially with the associated taxes), for MOT and insurance, and parking fees, etc., is the fact that cycling gets you fitter and healthier and, dare I say, also happier (wish that would work for me though), and many current drivers would, most definitely, benefit from using a bike.

Children going to school would also be some real beneficiaries there; more walking and cycling to school = less obesity. A total win-win situation for all.

While motorists keep complaining abut congestion and being stuck in traffic (they don't realize that it is they that ARE the traffic they are stuck in) cyclists, in general, pedal joyfully though the streets for free.

I love my bike...

© 2011