Paul Bramham still conceives a need for bicycles to have registration plates (Letters, November 5, 'Tax would pay for Reg plates').

Cyclists have an absolute right to use the roads – motorists have to be licensed. To licence cycles (and to legislate for compulsory third party insurance) would require Acts of Parliament.

No other country has such legislation. There are apparently some 27 million bicycles in the UK and licensing them would require an equivalent of the DVLC.

Cycles would need to be presented initially to registration centres to prove ownership and description of the bicycle. Cycle dealers would be involved in the scheme, as would cyclists who build their own machines. Whenever a cycle changed hands or description would, thereafter, need to be recorded by the Cyclist Licensing Agency and a fresh licence issued.

Twenty seven million different combinations of letters and numbers for index plates would be needed. For a plate to be readable at, say, 20 yards how many letters and numbers might each plate contain and how big would it be? Front number plates on motorcycles were banned because they were dangerous, so where would cycle plates be fixed?

Ideally, registration of all existing cycles should be carried out on the same date.

How would registration and compulsory insurance affect foreign visitors? There are half a billion bicycles in continental Europe.

Compulsory third party insurance would, of course, require the registered number of the cycle as well as the name, age and, possibly, experience, of the cyclist.

The original Road Tax hypothecated for road building and maintenance was scrapped in 1926. Today, roads are paid for out of central government taxation and council tax. Every cyclist who pays VAT, who earns more than the personal allowance and pays council tax, has already paid for the roads. Car tax and Vehicle Excise Duty are merely general taxation – nothing more. Paul Bramham believes cyclists should pay twice!

It is an offence to cycle on the pavement –we have no police to tackle this offence, so how on earth would bicycles with no registration plates, or false plates, or no third party insurance be dealt with?

John Hill