27.6.2011 High fuel cost driving greener travel
New research from breakdown provider Green Flag has revealed that one in five motorists have been driven off the road in the last year by soaring fuel prices, either abandoning a private car completely or switching to more fuel efficient alternatives.
The breakdown rescue service provider launched the study after seeing a 40% rise in fuel-related call-outs in January. Since then, prices have continued to climb hitting an average 136.6p per litre for unleaded compared with averages of 111.5p in 2010.
The study shows that 14% of motorists have given up their cars in the past year, while another 7% have swapped them for motorbikes or scooters. Other findings include:
* 52% say they have changed how they drive in the past year to save money
* 58% of motorists have cut their average speed in order to conserve fuel
* 46% now habitually shop around to find the least expensive petrol station
* 42% saying they now walk to destinations more often than driving
* 27% say that they now use public transport more frequently
* 14% of drivers plan to sell their car or switch to fuel-efficient models as fuel prices increase
Henry Topham, head of Green Flag said, "Rising petrol prices are having a massive impact on household budgets and consequently having a dramatic impact on driver behaviours. For many drivers, owning a vehicle is a necessity rather than a luxury, so they are being forced into driving more fuel economically or switching to more fuel efficient modes of transportation in the face of rising prices."
"Cutting down on journeys and driving slower is better for the environment and general health and is a much better idea than attempting to keep going on an empty tank and having to call out a breakdown service to rescue you."
The Green Flag survey was based on responses from 1,681 online UK adults in February. Although rising fuel costs are causing financial difficulty for many families, it is also reducing emissions from the transport sector, as it clearly makes individuals consider alternatives to driving such as walking, cycling or low emission vehicles.
HeadlineAuto, Green Flag
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