It takes a lot to really get me startled when reading something in the news. In fact I become pretty resilient to things I read in the news on see on TV... desensitised some might even say. However when reading a title such as "80% of households are in a state of 'Transport poverty' that is pretty shocking.
According to figures highlighted by the RAC foundation, four in five households are living in 'Transport poverty'. What that exactly means is that 4/5th's of people are spending over 10% of their disposable income on transport, both public and private, with the majority of their money going on the costs of running a car. This evens out to around about 14% of a weekly expenditure (£64.90 out of £473.60) being spent on the costs of transport per week.
Professor Stephen Glaister, the RAC foundation Director, said: "For the average household, transport is the single biggest outgoing, bar none. The situation is even starker when you look only at those homes which have a car or van. In these cases, the poorest fifth of households are spending at least 17% of income on a vehicle – leaving aside anything extra that goes on public transport. Just like heating our homes, most of us have to spend money on transport. There is no choice. While savings can be made at the margins by making fewer journeys and combining those which are essential, people have no option other than to go to work, visit the supermarket, see the doctor and take the children to school. That means paying for transport. The public finances are a matter for the Chancellor, but when he makes decisions about the rate of fuel duty he must be aware of their impact on the 34 million people who drive. It is true the cost of buying a car has fallen over recent years, but the cost of running one has soared. While most people can delay replacing their vehicle, they have little or no choice about filling it with fuel, getting it taxed and insured, and keeping it maintained."
It appears to be a genuine concern for Steven, and something which appears more serious than most people first thought. The fact of the matter is that we need to be paying for our vehicles, petrol, tax, MOT, servicing and so on. So how could we reduce the amount we need to spend weekly? Reducing pricing for certain items, servicing, petrol tax etc., but I don't see that happening any time soon.