A Whitehall mole today revealed that Transport Minister, Norman Baker, is to introduce a controversial new £104 annual road tax for cyclists.
Early reports indicate that the new charges will apply from April 1st 2012 and that there will be no exceptions or concessions made, irrespective of personal circumstances.
Children, pensioners, men and women of all ages will be liable for the new charges, and it will become compulsory to display a valid tax disc on all cycles, including tricycles of the type used by toddlers.
An insider explained that not all cycles will need to be taxed individually, meaning that households with multiple cycle ownership can attach the disc to any cycle in use, but all cycles in use must carry a valid tax disc, or the cyclist may face a fine of up to £5,000 and would risk their cycle being impounded and fed through a crusher in the absence of a valid tax disc.
A proponent of the scheme, speaking off the record, explained that the charge would average out at only £2 per week per cycle, less than the price of a pint of beer, and less than half the cost of a packet of cigarettes.
She went on to say that £2 per week represents real value for money for cyclists, who, during a period of great austerity would have unlimited access to the nation's highways (with the exception of the motorway network) for a bargain basement price.
Cycling organisations are expected to vehemently oppose the proposed charges.
More as we get it.