Guernsey Press

Reintroduce a bicycle tax to raise revenue

HORACE CAMP began his article [How can we solve the housing crisis, Friday 3 December] with the words ‘note to self, search for tin hat and dig foxhole by the time this gets published’.


I must begin this letter with the same words. Why? Because what I am about to say is going to cause a howl of outrage from certain quarters and, no doubt, annoy thousands of people.

We should reintroduce a bicycle tax. This would bring in much needed revenue for the States of Guernsey, some of which could be put towards providing more facilities for cyclists, cycle shelters, cycle paths, even filling in potholes. Generally making things easier for cyclists – and pedestrians too.

I ask this question. How many bicycles are there in Guernsey? (perhaps the whole Bailiwick) 30,000, 40,000 perhaps 60,000-plus? Who knows? Is anyone keeping count?

A small tax could bring in hundreds of thousands of pounds and might prevent some of those determined politicians attempting to introduce GST.

GST is an unfair tax and would be a body blow to the lower paid, many pensioners and even many middle income families, whereas the well-off, wealthy entrepreneurs and millionaires will hardly notice such a tax.

No doubt I have awakened the ‘wokes’ and triggered the ‘trolls’ but before they come down on me like a ton of bricks, I should say that many years ago I was a founder member of the Guernsey Bicycle Group, together with the late Francis Paul and others. Our aim was to make Guernsey roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

In those days I still fell off conventional cycles so someone lent me a three-wheeler trike so I could join in. I saw my role, however, as representing the pedestrian side of things.

The group had very little, if any, funding but still managed to produce and publish the ‘Not for Motorists Map’, a guide to safe cycling by using an island-wide network of quiet lanes and minor roads, barely touching the main roads.

Time that map was upgraded and re-published.

Like myself, I am sure most of you do not want to see a GST introduced here. Let us find other ways of raising revenue that are fairer and would not have such an impact on individuals. Every little helps.

PS Children’s cycles should be exempt from the tax.