Hard-up motorists reducing journeys

An increasing number of drivers are leaving their car at home as motoring costs soar, according to a new survey.

The RAC found that 48% of motorists are cutting back on journeys for financial reasons.

But those living in rural areas are less likely to reduce car use because of limited transport alternatives, the RAC said.

Four out of 10 rural drivers and 32% of urban ones said they were cutting back on short journeys, while 34% of rural drivers and 23% of urban ones were reducing long trips.

Fuel-efficient cars are another means of reducing motoring costs, saving money at the pump and maybe also oncar insurance premiums.

The survey also revealed widespread concern over the state of the UK's roads. Almost all (92%) of those surveyed said the condition of local roads had deteriorated in the last 12 months.

In addition, 84% thought road improvements should take priority over "big, expensive schemes" such as the Government's proposed HS2 high-speed rail project.

Nearly 25% were concerned at preparedness for bad winter weather, while 75% of wanted a speed limit of more than 70mph on motorways. But only 16% backed higher limits on 30mph roads.

RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said the survey findings "show the tough choices being made by many motorists, with rural drivers hit the hardest as they have little alternative but to use their cars".

He went on: "UK drivers want action from the Government. They already pay the highest duty and tax on fuel in Europe. At the very least, we are calling for fuel duty to be frozen and scheduled inflationary rises to be scrapped."

Copyright © Press Association 2011