Drivers cut back as fuel costs rise

More than three in four motorists are cutting back on spending or driving due to rising fuel prices, according to an AA/Populus survey.

And just under half of those polled blame the Government for the high cost of fuel, the poll showed.

The number of people affected by the hike in petrol and diesel prices has risen from 63% at Christmas to 76% now.

Compared with 2007, a total of 31% of drivers say they now travel less by car, 16% have cut back on other expenditure and 29% have reduced both spending and motoring.

Apart from driving, the main area for saving is on entertainment, with fewer trips being made to cinemas and restaurants.

Other than the Government, the oil companies and oil-producing countries were the next organisations to blame for the high fuel prices, according to the AA members who took part in the survey.

Only 12% blamed City traders and just 1% blamed individuals owning filling stations.

More than four in five said there should be a body charged with monitoring the market to ensure fair prices.

Looking at all the AA/Populus polls involving 150,000 AA members over the first 13 months of the coalition Government, the AA said the key issues apart from fuel prices had been potholes, parking, lack of traffic police, speed limits and speed awareness courses.

AA president Edmund King said: “Our AA/Populus panel reflects the views of motorists. The coalition Government has talked about ‘ending the war on the motorist’ yet some of their actions appear at odds with motoring opinion, such as, not lowering the drink-drive limit or suggesting less-frequent MoTs.

“Our research shows that the majority of drivers supported a lower drink-drive limit and they felt that less-frequent MoTs could hinder safety.”

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