The Effects of Petrol Price Increases on Rural Residents
STOKES G, Transport and Travel Research, UK
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (1994) called for a doubling of petrol prices over the next ten years, amongst a package of policies aimed at reducing dependence upon the car. Speculation about the effects such a policy would have on rural
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (1994) called for a doubling of petrol prices over the next ten years, amongst a package of policies aimed at reducing dependence upon the car. Speculation about the effects such a policy would have on rural residents became one ofthe main arguments against the Royal Commission's recommendation. Opponents argue that rural residents would suffer because they travel more by car, and would find it harder to adapt to using a car less. It is also argued (and generally agreed) that increased spend on public transport would not filter through to benefit rural areas easily or quickly.
This paper examines what can be done to solve the essentially urban traffic problem, without either transfdg the problem elsewhere, or damaghg opportunities for people in rural areas. It involves analysis of the National Travel Survey to explore the issue, and discussion of policy implications of these kdings. The analysis aimed to answer (as well as is possible with an existing survey) three basic questions about rural travel behaviour.
1. Do people in rural areas travel more miles, and more by car because out of choice or necessity, or as a mixture of the two?
2. Do people live in rural areas out of choice or necessity? Besides those who work locally, how many move to an isolated area knowing that high levels of travel will be involved?
3. How much more dii%cult would rural car users find it to adapt to life without a car than people in urban areas?
h1.SHIFTING THE BALANCE BETWEEN MODES
Association for European Transport