Car taxes don't buy you the road.

I don’t listen to talk-back radio, so could not have known that many of the old geezas who love to call in, believe their road taxes buy them the right to the road, over cyclists, and I guess even pedestrians. It’s exasperating really, to think this country has been sold for a song to out and out cretins (no offense meant to Greeks from that island, who gave us corbelling and rhytons and so many fine legends).

Constantine’s Arch, Rome                                  Traffic control in Pompeii         Hunter Street before grand theft auto         A video making my point exactly

Road taxes pay for the bitumen, not the stolen land that bitumen is laid on. Building alignments in cities predate the invention of cars (der!) and horse drawn carriages went at bicycle pace, not 50-110km/h. The suggestion that road taxes have bought drivers the right to burl their way over all but the footpath, at such deadly speed, in half tonne piles of steel, is reprehensible actually. The Romans would not have stood by and allowed this happen. They would have built triumphal arches like those designed to slow chariots entering the city, or set protruding stones in the road, like those found in Pompeii. Thoughts about civic decorum that arose during The Renaissance would likewise have spared Florence. Imperial order would have spared China. In fact I can’t think of a city in all of history that would have given Toad the free reign he has enjoyed in the past 70 years.

I would like to calculate the real cost that should be apportioned to car owners, if the cost of taking land from the people for their special high speed pursuit was paid for in rent, but I think my point is made better by the guy in this video. Generous soul that I am, I would go so far as to say cars could use the road free, if they kept to the speed of a bike.


  1. While I agree it can be incredibly disheartening to hear the comments made by fellow users of the road about other users of the road – cyclists – I am sure these comments are not representative of the majority of road users.

    You make a good point in relation to what the “real cost” of the road system is. Just like so many other aspects of modern life, the “real cost” is hidden away and not held up for perusal.

    Saw an interesting interview recently in the aftermath of the volcanic ash clouds and the effects on air travel. This short week of no flights is a preview of our (not too distant?) future. The confusion and mayhem created by this should teach us of the urgent need to do things differently. The whole peak oil scenario will mean air travel, as we know and use it will not be happening. And in similar ways motor vehicle use will also become much more limited.

    At that time cyclists of the world will have much greater access to the road system. I am a patient man but, it is evident greater mutual use of the existing road systems will have to happen before then.

    As ever, the achievement of this is not simple …


    • Steven says:

      Hi Roberto, I thought they were planning to fly planes with liquified coal gas, which while tripling carbon emissions, would keep a coal port like Newcastle, and the airlines, in business until every last speck of energy going to waste in the ground found its way to the sky, where I guess god must have intended, or else he would not have given us thumbs to make motors. Lord give me Roberto’s patience, and perfect extractions.

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