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There’s no war on motorists says think tank
War on motorists? It’s a myth, according to a new report from an influential think tank.
The Institute for Public Policy Research claims that the costs of travelling by public transport have far outpaced the cost of motoring over the last 15 years – and it’s urging the Government to increase fuel duty.
Rail fares rose by 66.2% and coach fares by 76.1% between 1997 and 2010, compared to a 32.5% rise in the cost of travelling by car over the same period. Cutting out inflationary measures that represents a fall in the cost of motoring, says the IPPR.
Motorists feeling the pinch may not feel predisposed to accept they are getting a better deal. In June, the UK had the highest diesel price in Europe, whilst UK petrol prices were the sixth highest amongst our 27 EU neighbours.
But with rail fares set to rise by an average of 6.2% next year, it’s time to turn the heat up on motorists, the think-tank argues.
IPPR associate director Will Straw:
“No number of Taxpayers’ Alliance petitions will change the facts. Compared to users of public transport, there is no war on motorists. Rail and bus users have seen fares spiral out of control while the cost of driving has actually fallen over the last decade.”
By contrast, Conservative MPs and motoring groups including the AA and RAC, have pressed the government to scrap a planned increase of 3p per litre in January to help stimulate the economy and ease the pressure on cash-strapped families.
Chancellor George Osborne shelved a 3p rise in June and according to the report, has given concessions to motorists that will cost the taxpayer £14 billion over five years. The left of centre IPPR also argues in its report for the wider roll-out of congestion charging and road toll schemes to fund new public transport projects.
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