Shock Study Suggests Fuel Prices Should Rise Even Higher

Thu 7th Jun 2018

Whilst Britain’s drivers are feeling the pinch on the petrol forecourts due to rising fuel costs, a new study is suggesting that prices should be rising higher, ‘in line with inflation’.

The Greener Journeys campaign has a strategic aim of moving transport away from the car and onto buses, and in its report ‘The Unintended Consequence of Freezing Fuel Duty’, it has suggested that a seven year UK Government freeze on fuel duty has caused the release of an extra 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Professor David Begg, Chief Executive of Transport Times and former chairman of the Government’s Commission for Integrated Transport, said: “Whilst the freeze in fuel duty has been welcomed by many road users there have been unintended consequences in terms of increased pollution and congestion and a shift from public transport to car use, which policy makers should be aware of if they continue with this policy. The Chancellor said he will increase fuel duty in line with inflation at the next Budget. It is vital that Government delivers on this commitment as a minimum if it is to send the right price signals to consumers.”

Due to the fuel duty price freeze, prices at the pump are 13 per cent lower than they would be if they had followed inflation and this has resulted in a four per cent increase in traffic since 2011, and subsequently a similar decrease in public transport use, equating to 60 million fewer rail journeys and 200 million fewer bus journeys.

The UK’s air pollution is reaching a crisis point, with 38 of England’s 43 air quality zones breaching legal limits for NOx emissions.

Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys is concerned that the fuel duty freeze is causing a public health emergency.

She said: “The price of fuel is one of the most politically divisive issues in the country. However, we know that diesel cars and vans are the biggest contributors to harmful NOx emissions, which are creating a public health emergency in the UK.”