Cloud cuckoo land? Or does the prize-winning idea of US cycle campaigner Michael Jackson have legs?

Car ads should carry levy: cash raised to promote cycling

Michael Jackson, who has directed bicycle transportation, planning and engineering programmes for several local and state governmental agencies throughout the United States, is calling for a scheme similar to that levied in California where 25 cents from every packet of cigarettes sold is used to pay for anti-smoking initiatives, including anti-smoking adverts.

His idea was presented in Glasgow this morning at Velo-City 2001, the world’s biggest cycle planning conference. His keynote speech was the winner of the Falco international essay competition. Jackson received a cheque for £1200.

“I believe that [a levy on car ads] is a win-win situation for all parties involved. The automobile industry can garner public relations value for helping to fund additional solutions to transportation problems, while the advertising industry gets additional business opportunities, and public benefits from becoming more aware of the wonderful benefits of bicycle travel.”

Sponsors, Falco, a Dutch company that designs and manufactures street furniture such as bus shelters and bicycle racks has been supporting the essay prize for ten years. This year’s competition was on the theme of: “Today’s young people lead much less active

lives than ever before, so creating a future generation of unhealthy adults. Challenge.”

Olly Hatch, Velo-city series director and one of the international panel of

judges that chose Jackson’s essay as the winner, said:

“What the judges were looking for was not just an outline of the problem, but practical solutions. We were asking the authors to set out a structure on how to help children and

young people become interested in cycling and continue to be interested in cycling when they become adults. It might be a radical idea that Michael Jackson has come up with, but its execution would be relatively simple.”

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