More people have been cycling (and walking) during the Covid pandemic. There are lots of benefits of this. Cycling helps make people fitter and healthier - and so less likely to add to demand on the NHS. Each person not using public transport helps relieve demand on buses and trains, reducing the risk of Covid infection. Each person not driving a car reduces carbon emissions, other pollution, and danger on the roads. Cycling is good for individual health, public health, and the planet's health. And it's fun!

Sadly, there has been an increase lately in aggression by drivers towards cyclists, both verbal and by driving that puts cyclists in real danger. Drivers complain that cyclists are in their way, and that cyclists don't pay 'road tax'. But 87% of cyclists are also car owners, so they do pay 'road tax' (actually Vehicle Excise Duty, which goes into general government funds, not specifically for roads; Road Tax was abolished in 1937.) Besides, road maintenance is funded mainly from council tax, which cyclists are as likely to pay as drivers. And the Vehicle Excise Duty you pay depends on your car's emissions. For a car with low emissions, you pay less. The rate for an electric car is zero. And so it would be zero for a bicycle, if the law covered them too. In short, cyclists and horse riders too do pay 'road tax' (as car owners), and are entitled to be on the road.

So please, be considerate to cyclists, for their safety and your own benefit, even if it occasionally costs you a few extra seconds on your trip. Better still, ride a bike yourself!

Martin Brown and Lesley Greene