UK enters age of transport poverty

The Momentum UK Team 06 March 2013

800,000 UK households are now in transport poverty, spending over one quarter of their entire disposable income on the buying, running and maintaining of a car according to a report by the RAC.

With the poorest 10% of car owners spending such large proportions of their disposable income on transport the figures may reveal a new level of transport poverty is affecting the UK.

Over the last few winters there has been widespread coverage about the problems concerning fuel poverty, which is when a household spends over 10% of their income on fuel for their home.

However, the research suggests that transport poverty is also a pressing matter, with the figures showing that 800,000 households are spending over 25% of their disposable income on buying, maintaining and running a car.

Compare this to the richest car owning households who spend about 12% of their disposable income on buying and running a vehicle.

For those in transport poverty, of the £167 they are able to spend each week, £44 goes on transport.

Experts have been warning against the effects of rising fuel prices and as a result of increases, more lower income households are forced to spend a greater proportion of their income. In light of such figues many have called for the government to reduce fuel duty, with presently accounts for around 60p in every litre.

With the average cost at of petrol currently at 140 pence per litre, and with further increases forecasted, Prof Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation said that the figures should “shock” the chancellor.

He went on to say:

"It lays bare the truth about the extent of transport poverty in the UK.

"To make any meaningful difference to those on the lowest incomes the rate will need to be cut much further."