RAC figures miss ‘the vital point’

Chief Executive of campaign group Greener Journeys, Claire Haigh, has said the RAC Foundation has missed the point on its recently published Transport Poverty 2014 statistics. The new figures reveal the least well off families in the UK have slipped further into transport poverty. They show that around 800,000 car owning households spent at least 31% of their disposable incomes on buying and running a vehicle in 2012. In the previous year they spent 27%. These very poorest families (with the lowest tenth of household incomes in the country) had a maximum weekly expenditure of £167.

Claire Haigh said, ‘The RAC Foundation is right to highlight the serious issue of transport poverty, however their report misses the vital point that hundreds of thousands are unable to afford a car at all. The National Travel Survey reveals 48% of households on the lowest incomes do not have access to a car, restricting their opportunities to access jobs and crucial services and disconnecting their communities. Widening access to opportunity must be a key focus for this Government and one way to help is to help make public transport more affordable for hard workers on lower incomes. That is why we are calling on the Government to adopt the “Bus Bonus” to help workers commuting by bus. The Bus Bonus is a tax incentive to allow employers to provide their employees with “e-vouchers” to help pay for the cost of commuting to work by bus. The initiative would give the UK economy a boost of £93.4m annually and improve access to jobs. Most importantly, it would help families tackle transport poverty by providing a more affordable way to get to work.’

Visit www.racfoundation.org/data/cost-of-motoring-index to see an interactive chart of how motoring costs have changed relative to inflation over the past decade.

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