3.1.2012 UK petrol sales continue to fall
The first three quarters of 2011 witnessed a significant slump in petrol sales in the UK, and the AA has said that this is a trend that is likely to continue into 2012.
Petrol sales at the pumps between January and September 2011 totalled 13.9 billion litres – compared with 14.9 billion litres between the same months in 2010 (a fall over over 6%), and 16.3 billion litres in the pre-recession period of January to September 2008.
The cause of this reduced petrol consumption is the economic downturn together with the rising price of fuel, making motorists think twice about making journeys unless they are absolutely necessary. According to an AA/Populus survey of more than 20,000 members, around 40% said that they will either make less journeys or try to drive more economically in 2012.
The AA revealed that it was generally drivers from lower socio-economic groups that intend to be more economical with fuel. Regionally, the south-west of England and Northern Ireland were most confident about reducing car use, while Londoners seemed least likely to change driving habits to be more economical.
AA public affairs head Paul Watters commented, "Drivers are clearly being forced into cutting their motoring by the high price of fuel and, for many, this will impose difficult constraints on their lives. We have reached the stage where motoring is once again only easily affordable for the better off and, with the car still the mainstay means of travel for the majority, that is depressing news at the start of 2012."
He continued, "The impact of high fuel prices on ordinary drivers is staggering, with just over a quarter of those choosing a New Year resolution saying they would drive more economically and a further 10% intending to drive less. This far exceeded the 12% going for road safety-related resolutions, perhaps because the cost of motoring threatens the way they live their lives."
The AA, Thisislondon
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