Letters: Make cyclists pay road tax and give bikes an MOT test

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I have serious concerns regarding the article “Cyclists’ group wants accident laws changed” (News, April 15).

If drivers were to be held responsible for accidents involving cyclists then I fear the law is liable to backfire and could make cycling more dangerous rather than safer.

For a start, more drivers might be tempted to drive away from the scene of an accident without reporting it.

If someone is held liable for an accident even though they were not at fault then it could cost them more in insurance premiums and perhaps even cost them their employment if the accident happened in an employer’s vehicle.

If drivers feel they are being treated unfairly there might also be increased road rage or abuse aimed towards cyclists.

It is time for all road users to be treated fair and square.

We have all seen the cyclist who thinks red lights or one- way streets do not apply to them, or the clowns who don’t use lights or reflective clothing on dark winter mornings, or the idiot who cycles home drunk from a pub.

Surely these types of cyclists should be facing the same consequences as any other road users who fail to adhere to the rules of the road.

It is also time cyclists were forced to pay for compulsory road tax, insurance and a cycle MOT certificate to prove that their machine is roadworthy.

Cycles should also be forced to carry an identifying plate so they can be traced after an incident if need be. No driver or cyclist should be held liable for any accident until all the evidence and facts have been examined by an officer of the law and put through the courts if necessary.

Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife

Show consistency over donations

Mary Thomas criticises the “Better Together” campaign for accepting a donation from Ian Taylor (Letters, April 16). To be consistent, will she call for the Western Isles to return the donation he made to keep the Harris tweed industry going? I doubt it.

Frank Russell, Broomhouse Crescent, Edinburgh

Ideology of Tory party is greedy

THE Tory Party is known as the rich people’s party. It is motivated by the belief that private ownership of industry, business, energy supplies and land is the right and only way.

Their every policy action is geared to maintaining and extending that control, as the continuing break-up and privatisation of national organisations and social services in the last three years shows.

The very act of privatisation puts the interests of the few above the majority. They believe their money creates all wealth.

Some honesty about their real intentions would be illuminating.

Opponents of the Tories do not hide their intentions, they say they want the wealth produced by the majority to be distributed fairly to the majority. If it needs national organisations and social welfare in all form to do it, then that is how it will be done.

This is open and honest. The Tories have difficulty in being so by the very nature of investors’ interests having priority over everyone by having the power to close down an industry or business and move their investment, irrespective of the colossal damage to the employees and their families.

It is a very backward, selfish and greedy ideology.

A Delahoy, Silverknowes Gardens, Edinburgh

Seek out another way to prosperity

I WELCOME Colin Keir’s reply to my question as to whether the success of Edinburgh Airport is umbilically tied to the economic success of the city-region (Letters, April 15).

It depends what kind of economy.

If, as Colin argues, flights are shown to be linked to the high value green technology jobs on which Scotland’s prosperity depends then I will accept that as a trade-off worth making.

But if flights are just about stacking up more cheap access to stag ‘n’ hen tourism then I would like to see Colin defend that to residents in areas such as Grove Street whose commitment to a lived-in city centre is under real threat from this kind of “economy”.

Are we really saying that the only way for Edinburgh to prosper is for more people to be flying in and out of Edinburgh Airport?

That seems both absurd and a failure of the imagination.

Gavin Corbett, Green councillor for Fountainbridge / Craiglockhart