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Motorists Say ‘Reduce Emissions With Efficiency'

26 April 2002

Motorists Say ‘Reduce Emissions With Efficiency Not Prices’

“Motorists would strongly resist measures aimed at restricting their freedom to use their cars, “ says George Fairbairn.

The latest Automobile Association member survey shows that to reduce vehicle emissions, members would strongly oppose (87%) moves to increase fuel prices to make people drive less.

AA members surveyed strongly preferred good maintenance (95%), cleaner petrol (90%) and more efficient cars (86%). A majority would be willing to accept stricter controls on vehicle emissions (70%). There was a positive response to promoting alternative fuels (60%). 60% also supported public transport as important, however, only 6% indicated they were likely to use public transport more themselves in the next year.

Options that members are likely to favour to reduce vehicle emissions include: sourcing better quality fuel; extending the availability of lower sulphur diesel to the rest of the country; a low-cost tune-up as part of the Warrant of Fitness check; introducing vehicle emission standards; and continuing the popular 0800 SMOKY campaign.

“The clear message members are sending to politicians is, to reduce emissions, motorists support measures that improve the technology rather than restrict use of cars,” said Mr Fairbairn.

For many, cars represent freedom and independence (75%), convenience (73%) the ability to visit friends and family and attend other leisure activities (67%) and to travel to work (55%). Pricing people out of cars would have a significant social impact, particularly on the freedom of those on lower incomes and for mothers of young children.

Ends

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