AA/Populus

Priorities for new Transport Secretary

24 May 2010

AA members' top priority is reducing the cost of travel

Reducing the cost of travel should be Transport Secretary's priority, say 74% of AA members.

Nearly three out of every four AA members want the new Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond, to make affordable travel his priority, a poll* of 21,226 of them has revealed.

Although reducing duty on petrol and diesel is a clear favourite for 51% of respondents to the AA/Populus survey, a further 23% call for fares on public transport to be reduced.

Women push hardest for a cut in the cost of travel, with 54% compared to 49% of men wanting a cut in fuel duty and 27% versus 21% wanting lower fares on public transport.

Perhaps underlining the frustration with the provision and flexibility of public transport, a further 9% of AA members want to see more railways built. Demand for this grows with age, ranging from 4% among 18-24 year olds to more than 10% for drivers aged 55 and older.

Panel respondents were asked to identify their top priority for the new Transport Secretary to tackle and so strong was the desire to see the cost of travelling come down that other measures, such as an 80mph motorway speed limit (4%) and 50mph on single carriageway rural A-roads (3%), barely got a look-in.

Regionally, some of the areas in the UK with the cheapest fuel are the most keen to see fuel duty on petrol and diesel reduced.

Londoners, who have the most comprehensive public transport systems in the UK, are the most vociferous (30%) about fares coming down.

Comment

Edmund King, AA President, said: "This poll makes it clear that a majority of AA members want to see a reduction in fuel costs even though duty increases are scheduled for October and rumours abound concerning an increase in VAT. Escalating fuel costs will hinder economic recovery and are already fuelling inflation.

"The Conservative manifesto promise of a fuel price stabiliser might help as long as pump prices are stabilised at a realistic level, but this now appears to have vanished from the agenda according to the recently published government programme. We will be raising the issue of fuel duties with the Treasury.

"The population is aware that the Government needs to make savings but pumping up fuel prices would be counter-productive."

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21 May 2010

* AA/Populus survey carried out between 27 April and 4 May 2010