UK plan to ban cars on Sundays in bid to battle oil crisis

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Sundays could soon be car free as new recommendations aimed at limiting the UK’s reliance on Russian oil while the invasion of Ukraine continues are being considered.

The suggestions put forward include: cutting the motorway speed limit to 64mph, asking people to work from home for three days a week and banning cars on Sundays. The measures, if put in place worldwide, outlined by the International Energy Agency (IEA), could cut global oil demand by 2.7million barrels per day within four months, reports the Mirror.

The advice comes at a time the Chancellor’s Spring Statement is due, in which fuel duty – a tax paid on petrol and diesel prices – could be cut by 5p-a-litre, reducing it from 57.95p to 52.95p paid on every litre. Fuel prices have continued to rise across the country despite wholesale prices falling for more than 10 days, experts said.

The IEA said its proposals are ‘practical actions’ that could significantly reduce oil demand and soaring prices that motorists are currently facing across Europe.

The scale of the daily reduction on oil use would be the equivalent of not having to fuel all the cars currently used in China – the introduction of car-free Sundays in major cities alone would cut oil demand by up to 380,000 barrels per day.

IEA’s proposed 10-point plan to combat rising oil prices:

  • Reduce speed limits on highways by at least 10 km/h (6mph)

  • Work from home up to three days a week where possible

  • Car-free Sundaysin cities

  • Make use of public transport cheaper and incentivise micromobility, walking and cycling

  • Alternate private car access to roads in large cities

  • Increase car sharing and adopt practices to reduce fuel use

  • Promote efficient driving for freight trucks and delivery of goods

  • Using high-speed and night trains instead of planes where possible

  • Avoid business air travel where alternative options exist

  • Reinforce the adoption of electric and more efficient vehicles

IEA executive director Fatih Birol said: “As a result of Russia ’s appalling aggression against Ukraine, the world may well be facing its biggest oil supply shock in decades, with huge implications for our economies and societies. IEA Member Countries have already stepped in to support the global economy with an initial release of millions of barrels of emergency oil stocks, but we can also take action on demand to avoid the risk of a crippling oil crunch.”

Ms Birol also said the 10-measure plan has already been tested and proven in multiple countries. Currently, a driver filling an average petrol car with 55 litres of fuel is paying over £47 in tax alone, with VAT paid on top of fuel duty at 57.95p a litre.

RAC fuel spokesman, Simon Williams, said: “The window for pump prices to come down appears to be have been well and truly closed, with both oil prices and therefore wholesale fuel costs once again rising after last week’s big drop, putting yet more pressure on households and businesses.In just the last week, the average cost of a litre of petrol has gone up 3.5p and diesel by a staggering 5.5p.

“Filling up a 55-litre family car now costs £91.86 for petrol and £98.43 for diesel. Drivers faced with spiralling costs when they fill up will undoubtedly be looking to the Chancellor to act in Wednesday’s Spring Statement, so suggestions fuel duty may be cut from its current level of 57.95p in every litre of fuel sold will be widely welcomed.

“While there has been talk of a 5p cut in fuel duty, this may not be deep enough to make a real difference to drivers who are facing the highest ever costs to fill their tanks.

However, ensuring all drivers fairly and fully benefit from the fuel duty cut depends entirely on retailers reducing their prices and not using it as an opportunity to take a greater profit on every litre they sell. On the other hand, reducing VAT, which is a tax on a tax, prevents this from happening and would guarantee drivers benefit fully.”

Culled from hull live

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