Sunday, 18 November 2012 13:58

Rural residents face costly commute

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural residents face costly commute

RURAL residents spend 25% more on fuel for their daily commute to work, claim countryside campaigners.

People in rural local authorities paid £17.17 more last month for fuel to commute than people living in urban areas, said the Countryside Alliance.

Another rise in fuel duty would threaten the viability of rural businesses and communities, it warned, urging the government to postpone any planned increase.

People living in rural local authority areas paid £69.28 a month on fuel for their commute compared to £52.11 spent by people in urban local authorities, said the alliance.

The top 10 local authorities for the cheapest monthly fuel costs are all classed as urban, with residents of the City of London and Aberdeen paying less than £30 a month in fuel costs.

By contrast, 9 out of the 10 local authorities that have the most expensive monthly fuel costs are classed as rural, the alliance said.

Rural residents in the Western Isles (Scotland), Ceredigion (Wales) and Maldon (Essex) were paying the most in fuel costs based on the average distance to work, it said.

Alliance chief executive Barney White-Spunner said: "Quite simply, people living in rural areas need their car to get to work and access basic services.

"Therefore if there is a rise in petrol prices the burden weighs far heavier on rural people, for whom cars are a necessity due to the long commutes and lack of public transport options."

The average cost of fuel for the monthly commute for people living in rural authorities rose by 3% cent from November 2011 to October 2012, said the alliance.

Petrol prices would increase another 2% unless a planned 3p increase in fuel duty was postponed.

Without a postponement in the fuel duty increase, petrol prices would have risen by 11% over the two years from January 2011 to January 2013 – well above inflation.

The alliance said it calculated figures for the average length of the monthly commute using census data which records the average distance to work for each local authority.

All calculations for the amount of fuel needed for the monthly commute were based on the fuel consumption of a Ford 1.8 Mondeo Mistral; which is 36.2mpg.

Petrol price data published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change was then used to calculate the total fuel cost for the commute to work.

Local authorities are classified as 'urban' or 'rural' using Office for National Statistic definition for English Local Authorities; National Statistics definition for Welsh Local Authorities; and Scottish Government definitions for Scottish Local Authorities.

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Roger Gambba-jones)


    Rural residents face a clear disadvantage when it comes to accessing almost all aspects of daily life - work, services, health, leisure. Government makes this worse with its centralisation of service provision, be it the courts, driving test centres, tax offices, centres of excellence for health provision. However, rural residents need to do their bit, by modifying their driving habits and lightening that heavy left foot many of them have when using our less than ideal rural back roads.

    from Spalding, Lincolnshire, UK
  • Guest (Ruralstrategist)


    A question. What do the calculations show for those who WORK in rural areas? If those who live rurally but choose to commute to Birmingham and other cities by car rather than train are included, the figures would be rather different. And in high housing cost rural communities, the impact on rural businesses is best measured by the fuel urban residents of affordable housing have to pay to get to their rural jobs.

  • Guest (Roger Gambba-Jones)

    In reply to: Guest (Ruralstrategist) Report

    I can't comment on those who might have the opportunity to commute into Birmingham, or almost any other large metropolitan area, as that is not a route that is available to those who live on the east coast. In rural Lincolnshire there are no alternatives to using your own transport for access to anything, let alone work.

    from Spalding, Lincolnshire, UK
  • Guest (eleanor roth)


    In rural mid-devon the transport situation for young people is dire..In many villages there are no buses to get to work.This therefore involves owning and insuring own transport (difficult to manage on minimum wage jobs) walking or cycling to bus or trains which are often oversubscribed and buses dont stop when full.what is needed is an oyster card system for rural transport.Come on mid devon lets work together in transport instead of competeing. a system for transport users not stagecoach

    from Stockleigh English, Devon EX17, UK
  • Guest (Richard Wakeford)


    Mopeds are undervalued for their potential in getting young people mobile. Not great in the rain, maybe, but if all the alternatives can't be afforded better than nothing.

    from 33 Rue de Franqueville, 75116 Paris, France

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