Lord Stoddart suggests bike sales tax to fund cycle lanes

Clearly he doesn't know the bike industry already has a levy, hypothecation is heresy & money raised wouldn't be enough
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Lord Stoddart of Swindon has put forward a suggestion in the House of Lords that bicycle infrastructure could be funded via a "bicycle sales tax."

The Lord is therefore not aware that there is already a form of bicycle sales tax. Most bicycles and accessories in the UK attract a tiny levy which goes into the Bike Hub fund, which pays for a number of cycling initiatives.

It raises about £400,000 a year and was the seed funding behind successful projects such as Bike It, the Sustrans-managed school iniatitive. It also pays for the cycle satnav smartphone app which steers cyclists away from busy roads and which can also geo-locate nearest bike shops, and then navigate to them via bike paths.

During a parliamentary session yesterday, the Swindon Independent Labour politician put forward the sales tax idea, with Lord Sassoon retorting that "All tax revenues are passed to the Consolidated Fund (the Government's current account) because this is the most efficient way to fund the Government's public spending objectives. Hypothecating taxes to particular spending programmes causes inflexibility in spending decisions and can lead to a misallocation of resources. 

"In June 2012, the Government announced a £15 million fund to improve safety for cyclists outside London, by tackling dangerous junctions. This was in addition to the £15 million fund awarded to Transport for London in March 2012, for the same purpose."

The Hansard record is found here.

What do you make of Lord Stoddart's comments? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or via @BikeBizOnline on Twitter.

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