Two fuel price rises in under a week mean that motorists are having to tighten their purse strings. But the RAC Foundation reckons the increase could put people off driving altogether. Will you scrap your car this year?
The official line from the RAC Foundation’s director, Stephen Glaister, was:
‘If the nation’s 34 million motorists are pushed too far they will drive less and the Treasury could actually see their tax take fall.’
So have the latest petrol price rises affected how often you drive? Past increases have shown that it can actually have a massive effect.
A quarter stop using the car for school runs
When fuel prices were at their highest in the summer of 2008, a survey commissioned by The Times found that a quarter of parents stopped using the car for the school run. And a total of 29% motorists said they stopped making out-of-town trips to go shopping.
Will we see a repeat of this with the latest hikes in petrol and diesel costs? I think so. I’ve already noticed that the roads have been quieter in the last few days, though that could of course be due to extended winter holidays.
But what about those who can’t afford not to drive? Personally, I need to make a daily 20 mile round trip to my nearest train station for my commute to work. I leave at a time when there are no busses and a taxi would prove too expensive. Plus, I’d collapse on my desk from exhaustion if I had to ride a bicycle to and from the station. So I grin and bare the cost of running my car.
Is there really a ‘war on motorists’?
Many were angered by local government secretary Eric Pickles’ comments this week. He talked about ‘an end to the war on motorists’ when announcing eased parking charges and restrictions in new housing developments.
I don’t think he was taking into account the fact that motorists were reeling from predicted fuel price increases in the region of 3.5p a litre that were about to hit them.
In all honesty, I don’t think there is a war on motorists, I think there’s a war on travel as a whole. As we know, train fares have soared this month, with some travelcard prices increasing in the region of 15%.
I opted to park at Peterborough train station yesterday instead of my local station, and it cost £13 for five to 24 hours! I was half expecting the car to have had a full wash and valet.
So for me, the answer to my initial question is no. I will continue to drive and travel everyday as normal, in spite of the rising prices. However, I do query whether we’re expected to move closer to work with the cost of travel being as it is.
Will rising fuel prices stop you from driving?
No, I rely on my car (76%, 646 Votes)
Yes, I'll find other ways to get around (18%, 150 Votes)
I don't drive anyway (7%, 56 Votes)
Total Voters: 852