Dublin Bikes

he Irish Times has a story reminding us of the runaway success of Dublin Bikes, the bike rental scheme in Dublin city. The question is why is this so popular? It strikes me that Dublin is small enough to cycle but too big too walk, while motorised public transport is inconvenient and taxis too expensive.

Dublin Bikes copies Velo’v in Lyons, which was introduced in May 2005. There is no academic literature on who uses these bikes and why (but there is work on the trips taken). Bike rental is typically presented as a complement to other forms of public transport. A look at the station map suggests that Dublin Bikes are used to get around the city, rather than get into the city. Bike rides would thus replace bus rides and walks. Assuming that Dublin Bus did not respond by changing routes or frequencies, that means that Dublin Bikes does not reduce emissions and increases congestion by putting more bikes on the road.

44 replies on “Dublin Bikes”

Not as straightforward as I know you like to depict things. I don’t think anybody thought that this would make a dent on our 69M tonnes of GHG emissions. What it does do is normalise cycling to the heretofore non-cycling folk. Bikes are also used as an alternative to intra city taxi rides and walking. The location of docking stations lend themselves to cross city trips not possible on the bus system where every single Dublin bus traverses O’Connell. If I was to take a bike from High Street to St. Stephens Green (a typical Dublin bike journey) rather than a taxi there would be avoided emission of 216g (as well Nox, PM10 etc.). You could also construe that energy efficient cycling results in less ghg emissions than walking. That same trip according to the DTO would result in burning 46 calories cycling versus 97 calories walking. Replacing those 51 extra calories eating would incur a carbon footprint of 20grams CO2e. So a winner all round!

Why don’t we just celebrate the most visible and positive facility to the citizens of Dublin and the fact, that so far, it functions extremely well and has avoided the plague of vandalism that afflicts the Paris system.

Try it Richard and join the 20,000 other subscribers – 20grams or 200grams it all adds up!


I have not found any data who rents these bikes and why. I would suspect, though, that the majority of replaced trips is by foot or bus, rather than by taxi, because a taxi would take you door-to-door in the same time or less so I don’t see how a rental bike would be much of a competitor in this segment of the market. I may be wrong.

I did not mean to criticise Dublin Bikes. I am surprised by it’s success, and I would like to understand the causes.

I have not signed up because I cycle to work.


My own conjecture is that the Dublin Bikes scheme will turn out (after more data) to be a large net positive contributor to the Dublin environment. For one thing, it changes the tenor of the travel scene in the urban core in a positive way. Single travelers on bikes are a much more “human” presence than single travelers in taxis, motorcycles, or private cars. In this way they improve the street scene. Since the bike trips need to start and end at one of the bike stations, perhaps the scheme also indirectly encourages walking, since it is needed at either end of the bike trip. Or maybe it substitutes faster biking for slower walking – not sure about that. An appropriatue subject for a high-quality ESRI study!

I too am surprised by the apparent success of the Bike scheme, although it is early days yet. As a cyclist I am amazed at the willingness of inexperienced fold to get up on a bile on a winter’s evening in Dublin. The scheme should grow in popularity in the better weather (whenever that is),

I would say that one factor in the success, although obviously not the only one, is the greatly improved road safety in Ireland in recent years. A lot of people, particularily older people like me (if you call 60 old) might be deterred by fear of being mown down by some lunatic who thinks he’s Michael Schumacher. So, road safety must be a factor.

Partly because of the massive investment in new roads in the past decade (which, of course, the environmental lobby opposed at the time), and partly because of better enforcement of laws relating to dangerous driving, there has been a huge reduction in the road deaths rate in Ireland.

Just over a decade ago, Ireland came 15th out of 27 among current EU countries for road deaths. Almost 500 were killed annually. The road deaths rate here was 20 per cent above the EU average and almost double that in the UK, Netherlands and Nordic countries. In case anyone thinks I’m making a party-political point, I should say that it had been that way for decades. Since the massive road-building program got under way, the number of road deaths here has plunged. It looks as though the total for 2009 will be just over 240 (the lowest since records began even though the number of cars on the roads is 10 times what it was then), and it looks as though Ireland will come 4th out of 27 among current EU countries for road deaths in 2009. The road deaths rate here is now about 30 per cent below the EU average (which itself is much lower than it was over a decade ago). It is certainly now well below that in France, which is the relevant comparison as far as this thread is concerned.

I don’t have separate up-to-date figures for Dublin, but historically the road deaths rate in Dublin has always been well below that for Ireland as a whole. The building of the tunnel, by taking huge numbers of lorries off city centre roads, has certainly improved road safety in Dublin. I doubt if this scheme would have been as successful just over a decade ago when the road deaths rate was 3 times what it is now.

“Assuming that Dublin Bus did not respond by changing routes or frequencies, that means that Dublin Bikes does not reduce emissions and increases congestion by putting more bikes on the road.”

Disappointing conclusion Richard.

One of the key features of breaking car dependency rut equilibria is – in my mind – the notion of critical mass. Safety is invariably mentioned as a prime factor in people’s decision not to cycle. But every extra bike increases the allocation of road space towards bicycles and away from cars, by enforcing the existence of that invisible (or sometimes red-etched) middle lane between footpath and car lane.

For the vast majority of the commuting population living within cycling radius, this safety effect is most significant within the Dublin Bikes circle of influence. Thus, cycle commuters from Templeogue to Palmerstown to Clonsilla benefit indirectly from the scheme.

The rent of the bike and the distribution of the stations is such that these bikes are not used for commuting. People get into the city by train, bus, or car, and then continue by bike; or they get from the office to an appointment by bike.

It may of course be that a greater number of cyclists will make the roads safer for all — one of the problems with Dublin drivers is that they just don’t expect to meet bikes — and that would encourage commuting by bike. Ditto for the habituation effect of Mark and JohntheO.

It has improved the civic experience of the city: when did emissions become the sole metric for civic improvement. For some people the city has become easier to live in because of the scheme, it has become richer and it has broaden our general engagement with cycling, something that in the long term should lead to better provision for cycle commuters.

Public transport in Dublin is so poor that any initiative is bound to be more successful than in other European cities, even a bike-hire scheme which is so weather dependent (or a Luas line that competes with cars on narrow streets)

The bike hire scheme addresses one major problem – the lack of public transport links across the Liffey. It is incredible that, hitherto, the best way to travel between the two major shopping zones (Grafton St. and Henry St. which are a mile apart) was to walk!

I have used the system a few times and found it works very well except that there is a risk that a station will have no bikes or, worse, no available spaces to return a bike. There is clearly an imbalance at times between the numbers of arrivals/departures in certain stations.

The guarantee of €150 may be key to the success of the scheme. It’s a deterrent against ‘stealing’ the bikes, which I’m told aren’t very ‘cool’ anyway as bikes go, or against carelessly failing to return the bike within a 24 hour period.

The annual subscription of €10 is very affordable for people in the 20-30 age groups who like to use the bikes as a quick way to get from one watering-hole to the next across the city when out socialising with their friends; quicker than walking and a lot cheaper and more reliable than buses or taxis. The bikes are useful too for people who need to get around the city for meetings during the day and who would prefer to leave their own cars or ‘proper’ bicycles safely parked at base. Lefournier has hit on another important point – the bikes make it so much easier to get from the Northside to the Southside.

Apparently, you need a credit card to put up the guarantee, which is probably why a ‘Dublin Bikes Subscription’ was on the Xmas pressie list of the sort adult children e-mail to their hapless parents these days. The only complaint I’ve heard about the bikes from this age group is about some of the ‘accidents waiting to happen’ who are using the service and who shouldn’t be allowed out on a tricycle, nor indeed anything else with wheels.

So the scheme may not save on emissions; but so what? Carbon emissions’ killjoys are becoming the bane of all our lives.

Richard, I agree that it appears the bike journeys replace bus\walks across town. I might add one comment on why a Dublin bike is a competitor for a taxi. I commute into town from 8 miles away and cycling is not an option. However Im based in the north city centre and would ordinarily have taken taxis across to D2 /D4 for consultations with clients, perhaps three times a week. I, and a number of my colleagues, now happily take a Dublin bike instead (avoiding the highly dangerous quays at all costs, I might add!).

I am surprised that you feel people would not be inclined to replace a taxi with a dublin bike when the same amount of time is involved door-to-door; I am delighted not to have to pay a taxi driver 8 – 10 euro each way for an otherwise short journey that would take just too much time to walk, when I can instead cycle on a clean, sturdy, reliable bike. And provided its not raining, its a much more pleasant way to cross town which reduces, albeit marginally, the pollution that a taxi would emit. I’m quite glad of the scheme!

Johntheoptimist comments on the improvments in Irish roads. This is all a bit irelevant as you cannot (legally) cycle on many/most of the new roads that have been built around the country and in any event Dublin Bikes is Dublin-based where the road conditions are as dangerous as ever for cyclists.

Nice story. Big problem. Know what it is? Clue: look at a OS map of Greater Dublin Area. Notice anything unusual about the geography? Notice anything about the road networks? Can you ID the residential (dormitory) areas? – the low-density ones? Can you superimpose a transparent overlay of the busanna, Luas, and DART routes on the OS map? Anything catch your attention?

The largest contributors to traffic congestion, carbon emissions, energy inefficiency, air pollution, ‘bus bunching’ and excessive speed in Dublin are the Lana Busanna. They should be dismantled ASAP – not all, but most of them. I am not a ‘car person’ – I’m a Biker and a very irate citizen. Where is the integrated ticketing? Where are the Sat Navs on the busanna? Is there some object of veneration in O’Connell Street? Or is it, as usual, just plain vanilla political ineptitude (aka: cowardice).

For you pedal bikers: Please lobby your TDs to legislate for the following:

1. Mandatory registration of all pedal bikes, with an annual Road Tax of – say, 100 euro.

2. Mandatory License and testing to ensure you are ‘fit’ to ride. Regular inspection of your bike to ensure it is ‘fit’ to be ridden.

3. Mandatory safety features to be installed by manufacturer/wholesaler before bicycle may be offered for retail sale.

4. And, mandatory third-party insurance.

Any of you ‘bikies’ not likey – tuff! If you wish to pedal around this metropolis, please pay your way – like all other road users. Thank you.

B Peter

One aspect of the scheme I’m utterly baffled by is the fact that two-thirds of the stations are not equipped to take credit cards. This means that people who don’t have annual subscriptions (eg tourists or people who want to just try the system out) can only buy the short term €2 tickets at one in three of the stations.

Anyone know the rationale for this?

Richard Tol stated:

“I have not found any data who rents these bikes and why. I would suspect, though, that the majority of replaced trips is by foot or bus, rather than by taxi, because a taxi would take you door-to-door in the same time or less so I don’t see how a rental bike would be much of a competitor in this segment of the market. I may be wrong.”

In my case, you are. Short ride taxi trips are very expensive relative to the service offered – dublin bikes are free. So, unless it’s lashing, dublin bikes it is.

Back to the future. Dublin streets used to be awash with bikes and all the better for it.

Increasing bike numbers will force motorists to watch out for them, hence a likely decline in the incidence of accidents.

I was recently in Utrecht where the bike rules. Envigorating.

Glitches will be ironed out in time.

All the best to the economist/biking community in 2010.

That’s two observations where Dublin Bikes replace taxi rides. Totally unscientific, of course, but given the number of suspected eyeballs on this blog and the average propensity to reply, this suggests that the bikes replace more taxis than I thought.

Fair enough. Dublin Bikes clearly meets a demand, and JCDecaux is rolling out similar schemes in as many cities as they can. Consumer happy, producer happy.

@ Richard

Granted, Dublin Bikes have replaced travel around town on foot to an extent in my case.

It’s when it’s late or I’m late that I would have taken taxis, but no longer generally do.

Also, if I am travelling out of town for a short period, it’s cheaper to take a bike than a taxi, and puts me in an all round better mood. Even if all docks are in town, it does not follow that all journeys are in town (though I understand that I am in a pretty small minority so far in doing this).

There’s something else that you say, that I would question. You say that the bikes are increasing congestion. Well maybe they do to a very marginal extent. But I have yet to be in a bike traffic jam in this city – and don’t really see that bikes slow down the rest of traffic too much. Meanwhile, I get around town faster, which seems to me more efficient than walking.

If the concern about congestion is that people are slowed down, I am not really sure that it’s a valid concern when travelling by bike is faster than on foot – and there is little evidence that the rest of town is slowed down.

which is why I can’t help thinking that in your characterisation of dublin bikes you are, perhaps, being just a little too clever. The fact that uptake has been so huge is not because all those people are irrational.

Tol is correct – the introduction of this scheme will lead to neither an enhancement of the public space nor access to the public space.

Dubland will never be CPH.

If a bike ride replaces a walk, someone is moved from the pavement onto the road. If a bike ride replaces a bus ride, someone is moved from inside the bus to outside. So, road congestion is up.

Bikes are still the fastest way around Dublin, so this is individually rational.

To see a traffic jam of bikes, you’d need to visit a city in the Netherlands, just before school starts.

@B P Woods

Would cyclists pay motor tax on the same basis as other road users, namely carbon emissions? On that basis I’d pay €0.

There are some bad cyclists on Dublin’s streets so training for cyclists and other road users is a good idea. Effective training and licensing of car drivers sounds like it would be a very helpful place to begin so maybe we should start there. Compulsory licensing, registration and insurance for cyclist are not good ideas:


Your proposals would be a great way to get cyclists off the streets, but then that might be exactly what you want. Will you be wanting pedestrians to be registered, licensed and insured if they want to walk across your road?

On the subject of the original post, the health benefits of promoting cycling would need to be factored into any long-term cost-benefit analysis. Also, if the bike scheme and cycle-friendly planning can have a role in getting private cars out of the urban core then they will help improve public transport emissions and costs: witness the improvements seen by Dublin Bus when the College Green bus gate was operating. The idea that bikes increase congestion relies a lot, I think, on the bike being slower than the vehicular traffic. My experience of cycling around the centre of Dublin is that over any appreciable distance the bike is usually quicker than other city centre traffic and it’s the mechanically propelled vehicles that are causing the congestion.

@Richard_Tol: I am having trouble parsing the tone of your reply to me; but don’t get me wrong, I don’t know the details of the deal with JCDecaux and so I don’t know if the deal is a good one. However, your original post implied the scheme was not useful since it didn’t reduce emissions and that doesn’t seem a good argument to me. At its simplest if people are choosing the bikes over taxis then the bikes provide them with superior utility and therefore the scheme has value; what that value is, is harder to measure.


I hesitated to say anything about “welfare” in the original post, but then people (incl. you) complained I was too negative.

It is clear that consumers love it (+). As JCDecaux is so keen to roll this out anywhere, the producer must like it too (+).

My hesitation is because I do not understand the implications for the government. JCDecaux and Dublin City Council have a complicated contract that specifies that JCDecaux run DublinBikes and a public information compaign in return for access to public displays and a sum of money. I do not know whether this deal is advantageous to Dublin. (I do not know in the sense of “I do not know” rather than in the sense of “I doubt”.)

So I also do not know whether overall welfare is up or down. It may be that JCDecaux has captured a rent rather than earned a producer surplus, and that the bikers are enjoying a subsidy. Then again, this may not be the case.

Road congestion would fall if people get out of their car/taxi and onto a bike; road congestion would increase if people get off the pavement or out of a bus.

The health benefits of cycling are unclear. Cycling is a more exercise that driving/being driven, but less than walking (per kilometre). The air that cyclists breathe is more polluted and cycling is more dangerous than walking or driving. I am not aware of (Irish) data that would allow one to test which of these effects is most important.

Although I own & use my own bike; for [possibly] one way trips I use dublinbikes in place of taxi & bus trips, because it’s cheaper, and more predictable than either of those. What about the impact of reduced footpath congestion, from moving pedestrians; people standing at bus stops; or waiting at traffic lights?

@ Skanger: Please re-read my comment – in toto. Thank you.

Increasing the number of pedal cycle users in the city may or may not be a useful traffic option – its a tad contentious. I have no interest whatsoever in participating in this type of ‘spitting match’.

All road-users have a duty of care to each other, and this includes the many Kamikazi pedal cyclist red-light jumpers that I encounter with depressing regularity. Failing to stop at a red-light is an offense. I recently witnessed a pedal cyclist knock over a pedestrian, then just rode off. If that were a motorized vehicle the driver would have committed a criminal offense by leaving the scene of an accident.

Pedal cyclists must be subject to mandatory registration and have mandatory third-party insurance. No ifs, no buts, no exceptions.

As I requested at the outset. Please re-read my original comment – in toto.

B Peter

@BP Woods
For somebody who is not a ‘car person’, you have views uncannily similar to those of the more doctrinaire roads-are-for-cars exclusivists. You say you are a ‘Biker’ but sign off with a pejorative reference to ‘bikies’ … are you a self-hating cyclist?

Also I don’t understand the line of thinking of your OP which criticises buslanes and then appeals for mandatory cyclist registration. Perhaps you were too irate to form a linear argument?

You raise interesting questions and appear to have formed your own conclusions about the answers. It would be interesting if there was some data to indicate whether buslanes have 1/ altered journey times for bus commuters and 2/ have altered passenger numbers … controlling as much as possible for other variables, eg. the fact that the population/ working population of greater dublin area has declined significantly in the last 18mths. Personally, as a ‘car person’ but one who likes on occasion to take a bike to work or to social events, I’d be very happy for a continuation / extension of buslanes if their positive discrimination in favour of commuters leads to a more rational mix of private car / public transport use in Dublin or other Irish cities and one more comparable to some of the European cities (Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels) where to my mind they get these things right.

Regarding your proposal for mandatory registration for cyclists, I’d be interested to know what the objective of the proposal is, whether it has been implemented in other cities and if yes what the outcomes were.

@ John H: Thanks for your considered response. Powered Biker: my ire is directed at some very hazardous pedal cyclists that I have encountered. Used to be a pedal cyclist; gave up: far too hazardous!

The registration and TP insurance I am adamant about. Its just plain sense to me. As an experiment, (but please DO NOT attempt this at home!), have an adult ride a pedal cycle into you at approx 2 x walking speed (8 kph). Very interesting experience.

The Lana Busanna (some, but not all) contribute significantly to congestion, fuel wastage, decreased productivity for commercial traffic, increased air pollution and ‘speeding’ by taxis – not to mention the bus-bunching. I recently counted 7-in-a-row on the Stillorgan Road. Talk about un-intended consequences!

In my original OP I described what you need to do in respect of the ‘commuters’ – though somewhat obscurely. Who commutes? Whence they come and go? When they come and go? I have never seen any detailed stats on these questions. Now ask the same questions of the non-commuters – and WHY they come and go as well. The answers may give pause for a radical traffic management re-think. I do not know the answers – hence my interest.

Personally I would wish to see ‘between-the-canals, and from Grand Canal Dock inland for approx 2 – 3 km as an area of very limited vehicular traffic. Could be done – the pols are just to cowardly. WRT less ‘cars’ in Dublin, the ‘cow-pat’ style build of the city makes this a very problematic matter. Also, less ‘cars’ means less excise duties and VAT revenues! Who will pick up the tab on that one?

Once again, thanks for the comments. These matters need to be discussed.

B Peter

@Brian Flanagan

“Johntheoptimist comments on the improvments in Irish roads. This is all a bit irelevant as you cannot (legally) cycle on many/most of the new roads that have been built around the country and in any event Dublin Bikes is Dublin-based where the road conditions are as dangerous as ever for cyclists.”

The fact that some new roads are barred to cyclists doesn’t mean that cyclists don’t benefit from them. They take traffic off the roads that cyclists use, particularily large vehicles like lorries, which are the most dangerous for cyclists. The Dublin Port Tunnel is the best example of this.

The Irish Times today reports the figures for cyclist road deaths in 2009. It fell from 14 in 2008 to just 7 in 2009. That is for the whole country (26 counties), not just Dublin. Of course, that is still 7 too many. But, it is the lowest number since records began half a century ago.


Your proposals for compulsory insurance, registration and licensing of cyclists are profoundly wrongheaded.

A useful essay for an undergrad jurisprudence class: justify the existing legal restrictions on automotive vehicles and distinguish bicycle use. I wouldn’t be surprised if some pedantic law students saw merit in extending automotive restrictions to bicycles but it is strange that your ideas have not been challenged more forcefully on an economics website.

Of course cyclist have to be subject to rules when cycling and lax enforcement is leading to serious risks for all roadusers but registration/ licencing and (above all) insurance are not solutions.

@B P Woods

You are right in that there are some dangerous cyclists out there that perhaps shouldn’t be allowed on a bike (I vaguely recall having to take some kind of cycling proficiency test when I was a kid before my Dad would let me out of the drive). I could actually make the same criticism of some car drivers and some bike riders too. Some, not all. Some shouldn’t be allowed on the road in/on any form of transport.

I made a short (very short) film about the Dublin Bike Scheme just before Christmas. I will get it up on youtube in the next couple of days and post the link here. I’m told that they are indeed intending to increase the radius of the scheme – fairly soon too by the sound of it.

I spoke to several people/users during filming and have to say, the popularity of it seems almost universal (except with taxi drivers).

I was so impressed I’ve started using it myself! I hasten to add that I haven’t ‘wobbled’ once yet though I think I may need to get the thermals out.

@ Lefournier: Thanks for the useful comments. My proposals for mandatory reg and TP insurance are ‘profoundly wrongheaded? Mmmm.

You are injured, your cloths are torn because you (a pedestrian) are struck (accidently) by a pedal cyclist. Your remedy is … ?? Seen this happen. Cyclist re-mounted and rode off leaving the unfortunate lady lying on the sidewalk. Her remedy …? None!

Your vehicle is damaged when struck (accidently) by a pedal cyclist. Your remedy is …?? Seen this happen. It is quite costly to repaint a scraped wing and door panel. Cyclist just rode off – in the opposite direction! The motorist’s remedy? None!

A pedal cyclist has no legal (but perhaps a moral) obligation to provide you with any personal details in the event that they are responsible for TP damage. In fact, they can just ride off. This is equitable? I fancy not!

I agree about the essay question. Theoretical construct. I am discussing reality: real people, real property, real damage, real re-instatement costs.

I am immovable on the need for mandatory registration and TP insurance for all pedal cyclists who take their vehicle into a public place. This is just plain common sense.

B Peter

If you people represent the populus of Ireland, the generalized joe bloggs, and you are the ones who vote our leaders into power etc… you really give a person the initiative to get politically involved so that our country is not over-run with complete lunatics.

You welcome laws that police a persons right to jump on a bicycle only by passing his NCT, sorry NBT. Has the world gone mad!!!?

The train of axiomatic logic I’ve witnessed on this profound rant-ad-absurdum of a comment section is so ridiculous that I’m ashamed to post here, apart from a sick curiousity as to your reply to my thoughts.

Next there will be people who will tax us for the speed we walk on the footpaths. Why not have a good ol’ rant about how cycling is the choice of the degenerate promenader next eh? Why not proclaim: “those bikers, they just don’t know what a good ol’ walk feels like, oh the purity of it all…”.

Heck, why not go the whole nine yards and introduce that law against jay-walking that those pedantic upholders of common decency (predicated on such sound axiomatic logic) strive for so ardently.

As a cogent member of the human race I sincerely hope you continue to be frustrated whence you see me cycling past a red light with no hands on my handlebars, I’ve assessed the possible risk and chosen to take my chances, you focus on not speeding over the limit so that you wont kill me for making a split second mistake. I don’t believe one should be punished so brutally over a stupid mistake.

But all judgements of the absolutes of decency and morality on the roads aside, Why do you care whether a person chooses to use one of the new dublin bikes or run a red light, on or off of the new bikes? Most motor accidents are not caused by jay walkers or the running of a red light, they are caused by incompetent motorists, (who should not be at the helm of such a vicious machine known as a car), crashing into other motorists, (who have every right to be at the helm of a car).

Why not direct your moaning against what actually causes the loss of life as opposed to your frustration about having to step aside from a bicyclist every now and again? It’s a strange twist of fate to find how one (or many) can accept one evil so blindly and then proclaim trivialities as adsurditites.

As I predict a torrent of responses to something I didn’t actually say I’ll clarify, a poster above quotes a drop from 14 to 7 cyclist deaths. Tell me what the number of car related deaths is… The tv and radio force these fiugures down our throats yeat we continue to ignore the message, (absurdities anyone?).

@Sponsoredwalk: Just suppose – I know its mad, but what the hell its Christmas and all.

Petrol and diesel become rationed! Big drop in number of you-know-whats, vat and excise receipts, etc. etc. BIG, BIG HOLE in revenues!!! So who is going to fill this excavation? Pedal Cyclists? Pedestrians? Road surfaces start to deteriorate moment they are laid. Replacement anybody? Yep, call the cyclists!

Won’t happen any time soon – but it is inevitable. Happy New Year!

This comment stream is about Dublin Bikes – and jolly useful they are. Lets keep it at that. Signing out.

B Peter

Pls note that this blog adheres to the principle of freedom of speech. While I openly disagree with some comments, other comments are beyond discussion.

@BP Woods.

There can indeed be injustice when cyclists abuse their freedom but your proposals would only make matters worse. It is your proposals that lack reality and my objections which are based on practical experience.

In order to give a remedy against the occasional injustice, you would burden every cyclist with registration, licencing and insurance.

It is particularly insurance that would destroy cycling. Look at the law courts. Filled with spurious or inflated claims by those who know that insurance companies will pay.

@B P Woods:
1. Contrary to what most motorists believe, there is no such thing as Road Tax. There is instead “Motor” tax. Bikes do not have motors, so they are not liable for this tax.
2. I am a frequent cyclist, but I also have a car, therefore I do in fact pay motor tax. When I am cycling, the car is sitting at home in the driveway. I would imagine that my cycling causes less wear and tear on the road than my driving. If you wish to implement a “road tax”, should I qualify for a rebate?
3. If taxing, registering and insuring cyclists, does this also apply to children? What about my toddlers tricycle? Their pedal cars? Skateboards? Should people have to supply utility bills and passports to buy rollerblades? Where do you draw the line?
4. I agree that cyclists should not break the law. However, registration and insurance would be pretty much unworkable, especially if we want to encourage people to take up cycling. Any red tape would mean too much hassle. Accidents etc could be handled via civil actions rather than insurance.

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