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Austerity still a driver as one in five leave their cars at home this Easter

  • Research shows drivers in the North of England and Wales and South West will clock up the most miles
  • Drivers in London and South East expected to make the shortest journeys
  • Long term cost of petrol and diesel still a major factor in travel plans
  • Greater adoption of LPG Autogas could help off-set fuel costs

Drivers in the North of England and Wales and the South West are expected to clock up the longest journeys across the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, although one in five (22%) British car-owners who drive will leave their vehicles in the garage, according to research commissioned by Autogas Ltd, the UK’s leading LPG Autogas supplier.

Results from a public survey by ComRes, sponsored by Autogas Ltd, showed that drivers in the North are expected to travel the biggest distances by car in the UK with average journeys covering nearly 53 miles.

Welsh and South-Western drivers are not far behind with an average journey length of nearly 51 miles. Drivers in London and the South East will be shunning their cars, averaging just 36 miles, a third less than their fellows in the North. (See table below for regional breakdown)

Linda Gomersall, General Manager of Autogas Ltd, the UK’s leading LPG Autogas supplier, said: “In our opinion, the survey results show that despite a predicted 16million cars being on the road this weekend, people are not looking at travelling long distances in what has traditionally been one of the big driving weekends of the year.

“We believe the cost of petrol and potential traffic congestion mean people are less willing to spend hours on the road on the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. More broadly, household bills – including petrol – mean the cost of living is at an all-time high at the moment.

“However, fuel is an area where people can look to save money through the use of LPG Autogas. Currently LPG Autogas is around half the price of unleaded and diesel and available at 1400 refuelling sites across the UK. More needs to be done to end the duopoly of these fuels and give people more cost-effective and cleaner alternatives.”

The cost of fuel has been rising for a number of years. According to AA figures for March 2014, the average UK price for unleaded was £1.29.5p per litre (ppl) with diesel costing £1.36.6 and LPG Autogas 71p. This compares to March 2004 when unleaded cost 77.8ppl, diesel 79.3 and LPG 37.85.

Linda Gomersall added: “Following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s introduction of a 10 year duty trajectory, there is now a commitment for the next 10 years that LPG Autogas will remain significantly more cost effective to consumers and small businesses when compared to petrol and diesel. Therefore, there is a clear case for consumers being able to make decent savings and we are urging the Government to consider how this can be encouraged further including looking at ways to reintroduce ready-to-drive LPG Autogas cars into the UK which are already commonplace in Europe.”

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