MCN voices your views on road tax reform

Published: 11 February 2002

MORE than 3000 of you sent MCN your response to the Government’s proposed road tax hikes – and we made sure all your voices were heard last week when MCN editor Rob McDonnell personally delivered the forms to the Treasury.

MCN estimates at least another 3000 people responded directly to a questionnaire posted by the DVLA on its website to seek feedback on possible changes, although official figures on the response are still a few weeks away.

Those numbers give us all a huge amount of clout in our battle to persuade the Government to rethink plans to class large-capacity bikes as " luxury vehicles " and charge them a higher rate of road tax.

Shazia Ejaz, the Treasury press officer in charge of the handover, said: " We’re very impressed with the level of response already, and we look forward to adding the responses from MCN readers to the huge total received already. "

It’s no wonder they’re impressed. Other similar consultation exercises often receive fewer than 50 responses, so if the Government was in any doubt about the strength of opposition to the plans, it won’t be now.

Motorcyclists have also won support from within Parliament. Lembit Opik, Welsh MP and leader of the All Party Bike Group, has tabled a Parliamentary question to " hurry up " the results of the survey, so the Government can’t just go ahead with the plans without explaining any decision in the light of your feedback.

And riders’ groups have been adding their opinions to those of individual riders. MAG and the BMF both wasted no time passing on the views of their thousands of members that, far from going up, road tax for bikes should be reduced as they ease congestion and cause less pollution.

They were joined by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), whose spokesman, Craig Carey-Clinch attended our handover and welcomed the massive response. He said: " MCN readers, as well as riders throughout the country, have supported our opinion that they should be dropping bike tax, not raising it. "

Ejaz added: " The overall numbers won’t be known for a few weeks, as we’ve got to count them up and check for duplications. "

The minute that’s been done, MCN will be prompting the Government for a response to our views and keeping the pressure on drop any plans for tax increases.