In 2018 and repeated in 2019, the award-winning Public Affairs Campaign Group, FairFuelUK conducted the biggest survey in the recent history of transport. 71,098 responded. And what the drivers said is an aide-mémoire for the Government.
90% regard their vehicle as critical to their daily lives with 67% saying they have categorically no choice but to use it every day. Those on significantly below average incomes, less than £20,000, say they have no choice but to spend up to a quarter of their hard-earned cash on petrol and diesel. The emphasis here is ‘we have no choice!’
The persistent demonisation of the UK’s motorists, bikers and truckers continues to be flawed and ill-informed. Politicians across all parties must recognise the way their driver constituents are unfairly and repeatedly exploited by environmental emotive spin – leaving road users being ill-treated as pariahs and used as pure cash cows.
FairFuelUK, with its 1.7m supporters has repeatedly asked the Government to use alternative, proven and practical solutions that don’t hit motorists and hauliers in the pocket.
They continue to ignore this common sense and popular approach.
With Brexit dominating British politics, Boris Johnson (Now the UK’s PM) – when interviewed by FairFuelUK during the EU Referendum in 2016 – (see photo ) said, he is in no doubt that leaving the EU will assist UK motorists, ‘white van man’ and our vital haulage industry.
In his interviews with FairFuelUK the cost of motoring, better emissions control and improved road transport infrastructure are seen by Mr Johnson as key benefits of Brexit, along with the considerable advantage that we would control VAT levels on the already highly taxed prices at the pumps. The new PM said: ‘This is something that Brussels currently stops us doing’.
The APPG remains sanguine about the advantages in post Brexit to UK road transport policies.
Despite the welcome fuel duty freeze in the last 9 yrs by Conservative administrations, the UK still has the highest taxed drivers in the world (see table below for the March 2019 fuel Tax takes by EU State).
Motorists, businesses and hauliers feel chronically demonised and angry they’ve become the principal and easy targets for all the problems associated with urban air quality.
Will the 80 seat majority in Westminster mean good news for policies that impact on UK’s 37m drivers?