Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Fuel gloom

Grangemouth refinery strike with possibility of more to come, predictions of unleaded costing £1.50 a litre by the end of the summer,record profits for BP and Shell, OPEC waring of the $200 barrel of oil, BA announcing fuel duty surcharge etc. No wonder I'm feeling somewhat gloomy about transport prices today.

Although I'm a non-driver I shall shortly be moving to a rural location where I will be dependent on my partner and her car (or taxis) for transport to the nearest town. The car is fuel efficient as it gets about 11 - 12 miles per litre and, because of the small engine, attracts the lowest Road Tax charge. The fuel costs don't just affect how much we travel it affects almost every aspect of our lives. Fuel goes up, flights go up and holidays abroad go up. Fuel goes up, haulage costs go up and food, drink & clothing goes up. Fuel goes up and public transport fares go up and so on. We, as a society, need to take a thorough look at our love affair with cars and roads and we need to do it before it's too late.

Some off the top of my head ideas: more freight onto the rail network and new track laid; reduce road tax for rural postcodes; more buses at more useful times in rural areas; severe tax surcharge for "Chelsea tractors" registered in urban postcodes; tax surcharge for each vehicle above one registered at a domestic address; scrap the fuel duty escalator and instigate a cut; ban gas guzzling motor sports such as rallying and f1 (sorry DoctorVee); windfall tax on oil companies and I'm sure that there are many, many other potential options. Any suggestions welcome.

1 comment:

Mrs MacGregor said...

Iain

I agree with some of your idea's but myself living in Rural Area it would not be feasable to have a tax on households that hae more than one car !!!
A Good Rural Bus service - they think we already have one taht takes 1 1/2 hours to get to Edinburgh - There are only 5 buses a day and it costs £5.70 to go to the nearest town - so using a car is the only option I am afraid !!