Car running costs fall behind bus and rail fares - official figures show

Car running costs fall behind bus and rail fares - official figures show
Drivers are enjoying some of the lowest running costs for decades, according to official figures.

The information from the Department for Transport (DfT) reveals that the cost of driving has fallen by around a fifth in real terms since the 1980s.

By comparison, ticket prices for buses, trains and railways have shot up by more than 60% over the same period, leading to a fall in the popularity of public transport.

It is thought the reasons for the difference in costs could be the drive to increase investment in building new roads and the drop-off in taxes for fuel-efficient vehicles.

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According to the data, there was a fall of 19% in the cost of driving between 1980 and 2015, taking into account factors such as the cost of buying a motor and fuelling up.

At the same time, fares on coaches and buses shot up by 61%, while those for trains increased by 65%.

The figures also show that there was a 10% drop in the cost of running a car between 2010 and 2015.

In this same five-year period, bus fares jumped by 5% and rail fares by 7%.

The figures have led campaigners to repeat their calls for the Government to step up investment in public transport routes and cut public transport fees.

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The figures, which were obtained in response to a parliamentary question, come after DfT forecasts suggesting the popularity of driving could soon outstrip that of all other modes of transport.

It is thought that over the next 25 years, the number of people choosing to travel by bike or on public transport could start to drop off.

In turn, this could see an increase in the amount of journeys made by car.

Separate figures released recently by the DfT show that there are now more cars on Britain’s roads than ever before, with the figure standing at a record 30 million.

But despite this increase, the size of the country’s road network has stayed more or less the same, rising by just 2.4% since 1995.

This has led the RAC to call for an improved road network that is better able to cope with the demands of higher volumes of traffic.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.