The latest statistics have revealed that a litre of unleaded petrol is at its highest price ever, making a mockery of the coalition government’s promise to stop motorists being targeted as the cause of so many city centre and environmental problems.
Just one litre of unleaded will now cost car drivers nearly 125p, with that figure set to increase further when the latest VAT increase is applied. If the government was really determined to make things easier for motorists then they could cut fuel duty, or VAT, and make it cheaper for people to drive more often, rather than having to leave the car at home to save money.
While the coalition has taken some steps to make some parking regulations less draconian, this will only help drivers who live or work in city centres. For those just passing through, easier parking will probably only add to the congestion which many towns experience on a daily basis.
If the government did really want to make motorists’ lives easier and cheaper they would be giving more backing, both financial and political, to electric cars. Many drivers will never accept public transport as an acceptable alternative, but if more money was invested in the technology needed for electric cars to become a common sight on our roads, both motorists and environmentalists would be a lot happier. In fact, the only people who would be unhappy would be the oil companies.
However, the electric car support scheme introduced by the last Labour government, which guaranteed financial support to motorists willing to invest in the new technology, has already been cut by the coalition. Only £43 million, or enough to support around 8,500 cars, is left in the coffers after the scheme was cut by Cameron and Clegg.
The UK needs to have more than 11 million electric cars on its roads by 2030 if the country has any chance of meeting its targets on carbon emissions. And with the difference in the price of fuel for petrol and electric cars already standing at 12p per mile and widening, demand is only likely to increase for cleaner, cheaper technology in the coming years.