The Government is being urged to press on with its planned fuel duty increases and prioritise investment in public transport across the UK, as a think-tank believes there has been no evidence of the well documented war on British motorists.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has declared there is no proof that motorists are being harshly penalised, instead it was users of rail and bus services that were being hit by hikes in the cost of transport.
The IPPR’s latest report says the cost of motoring rose by 32.5 per cent between 1997 and 2010, a real terms fall, while rail fares went up by 66.2 per cent and bus and coach tickets increased by 76.1 per cent.
Train fares are expected to rise even further in the next 12 months with an average increase of 6.2 per cent.
The report urges Chancellor George Osborne not to delay in planned fuel duty rises, as well as an extension of road tolls and congestion charges in a bid to finance improvements to public transport infrastructure.
Will Straw, IPPR associate director, said: "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.
"Users of public transport rarely have an alternative, while car drivers can switch to smaller and more fuel-efficient cars and cut out non-essential journeys.
"Given the pressures on the public purse, the Chancellor should avoid further delays in fuel duty and think again on rail fare hikes."
Nevertheless, additional increases to fuel duty will result in some drivers considering downgrading the size of vehicle they drive for a cheaper, more efficient model.
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