Sunday, July 10, 2011

Proles struggle to get from A to B

Fuel sales fall by a BILLION litres

Service stations in the UK sold 835 million fewer litres of petrol and 247 million fewer litres of diesel in January to March 2011 compared to the same period three years earlier.The 15 per cent dip in petrol sales and the 6 per cent fall in diesel sales were caused by higher fuel costs and consumers tightening their belts

Posted by sovietuk @ 08:05 AM (1490 views)
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4 thoughts on “Proles struggle to get from A to B

  • The Telegraph’s coverage of the same story adds this tidbit:
    “The AA said more fuel efficient cars had “next to nothing” to do with the trend. Instead, the record fuel prices, which saw petrol increase by 7.94p a litre and diesel go up by 10.51p a litre in the first three months of this year, were to blame.”

    Bad news for people in areas with poor public transport provision, ie. all rural areas, some towns and cities outside London. Also bad news for businesses which depend on car-based tourism, country pubs and biker cafés and the like.

    HPC angle: holiday cottages in Cornwall might be affected, but at 600 miles London-to-Cornwall-and-back, an average diesel car can do that on £80 of fuel; as opposed to £50 or £60 a few years ago. So barely enough to affect holiday homes.
    In the jobs market, people won’t apply for jobs that are far away from home. House prices in areas without local jobs will plummet – I can see house prices in the former mining towns of south Wales being hit badly. London however will escape largely unscathed. The world is spiky, and London is one of the sharpest spikes.

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  • general congreve says:

    I expect consumers are just putting the 15% they are saving on fuel aside to massively bid up house prices, as another Mail article (published here today) states that the house price trend is taking an upward turn.

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  • Cue increases in rail and coach fares, as our private monopoly transport system responds in the only way it knows how. The rail increases were planned years ago under the last government. But I’m sure the 50% rise by 2014 can now be jacked up rather more to boost profits, with the odd backhander to the regulator of course.

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  • nickb,

    Running the railways isn’t profitable; most lines only survive thanks to government subsidies of £6.3bn* a year. By contrast, drivers pay massive amounts of fuel duty, VAT on fuel and on new cars, insurance premium tax, vehicle excise duty, and all the other various charges.

    As the Guardian wrote back in 2002, the majority pay for a rich elite to use this archaic form of travel. 90% of taxpayers do not set foot in a train during the course of a year, but they foot the bill.

    Of course part of the high cost is due to inefficiencies, union regulations, and dodgy financial goings-on in the murky nexus between private and public operations. But the bottom line is that subsidised railways are a bung for the owners of property near stations.

    (*the £6.3bn subsidy figure is from 2007)

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