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8.2 million households in transport poverty

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New figures have revealed that 8.2 million households in the UK are now in transport poverty due to the ongoing increase of transport costs.

Each month transport costs increase leaving many people short on cash. More than a third of households have had to cut back on other expenses such as food and holidays to afford transport costs. It is estimated that 10% of a household’s income is spent on transport costs such as fuel and rail fares.

The 2009/10 Parliamentary figures showed that £60.20 was the average weekly expenditure on transport. The weekly expenditure is calculated by the amount that people spend on the purchase of a vehicle, spares, accessories, fuel serving, and other motoring accessories. Train fares and taxi costs were also taken into account.

As it stands fuel now costs on average 140p a litre because of fuel duty and tax. Rail fares have also risen by a rate of 6% a year at a time. Everyone in the UK is feeling the pressure of balancing their finances since the cost of living keeps increasing. An increase in transport costs and insurance is taking a substantial amount from people’s monthly income. Wage increases don’t seem to be happening any time soon resulting in many people being faced with a payment freeze which is taking its toll.

Labour MP Lilian Greenwood commented on the figures: “Transport costs hit certain group’s hard, particularly young people, rural communities and those on low incomes who do not have any alternative to travel because they have to work.

“There are now stories of people having to consider having to give up work because transport costs are so high.

“This is going to get much worse. It will be interesting to see what happens when the 2010/11 figures come out later this year.”

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By Amanda Bainbridge