Fuel prices 'top transport concern'
The spiralling price of fuel is a "critical issue", with the public placing it top of their transport concerns, a new survey has revealed.
The research carried out for the RAC Foundation showed that more than two-thirds of those surveyed - 68% - regard the cost of filling up as a priority for government ministers, up from 46% at the end of March last year.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "The price of fuel has become a critical issue, and it is not hard to understand why. A year ago the price of a litre of unleaded was 117p, today it is around 132p."
The survey, based on 991 face-to-face interviews by Ipsos MORI with people aged 16 plus, asked participants to select two or three transport issues they considered a high priority for the Government to address.
The conditions of roads and pavements in England, Scotland and Wales came second on the list, with 44% of people placing it in their top three.
The cost of train travel was of high priority for 32% of people, while issues such as congestion on local roads and road safety, were were seen as key problems for 24% and 22% of people respectively.
The impact of transport on the environment concerned 15% of interviewees, while high speed rail was at the bottom of the list with just 4% of people saying it was a concern to them.
Prof Glaister added: "The results show that people do not see grand plans for the future, like high speed rail, as priorities when there is so much to be done by ministers in the here and now: not just addressing the cost of filling up, but also tackling the state of the roads and the price of travelling by public transport.
"The average household already spends more on transport than any other area of expenditure including mortgages, food, domestic heating and entertainment."
Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle told MPs in the Commons on Wednesday that rising fuel prices are crippling families and sparking a cost-of-living crisis.