The never ending rise in petrol prices have now resulted in a massive reduction in the number of drivers on the road.
Traffic has slumped by almost 20 per cent according to figures released last week by the government and that figure is expected to rise even higher as fuel price increases show no sign of letting up. The magic £1.40 a litre barrier was breached some weeks ago in many forecourts.
Meanwhile an independent report says the situation could be even worse than the government figures suggest. Traffic master, which supplies traffic data for satellite navigation systems, claims that on some parts of the motorway network traffic congestion has halved in the last 12 months.
The company found that on one stretch of the M1 between Sheffield and Leicester, traffic congestion was down 52 per cent. The company say that this is a direct result of there being far fewer cars on the road compared with the same period last year.
The government say that over the last four years, whilst petrol has increased from 89p per litre to over £1.31p a litre traffic delays and jams have reduced by around 17 per cent. Petrol sales have also been affected and were down 9.5 per cent by the end of last year.
In London the effect has also been noticeable with half a million fewer motorists now driving into the congestion zone each year.
The government has always seen the motorist as an easy way of raising cash revenues whether it be through higher petrol tax, higher road tax or the much despised speeding fines. It would appear that the thresholds have now been reached as motorists abandon their cars in the thousands.
The net result of this is, of course, less funds to the exchequer.