A whole raft of facts and figures have emerged recently re our failing love affair with the car. A majority of teenagers - even in the US - now do not drive. But a really interesting set of figures on fuel sales in the UK have recently been released. If anyone doubts that the age of the car is coming to an end I think these will change your mind!
2007 forecourt sales 22.87 billion litres petrol
2011 forecourt sales 18.27 billion litres petrol
2012 forecourt sales 17.42 billion litres petrol
2007 forecourt sales 14.8 billion litres diesel
2012 forecourt sales 16.73 billion litres diesel
2007 forecourt sales 37.67 billion litres all fuel
2012 forecourt sales 34.16 billion litres all fuel
Taking total fuels the AA reports that this fall is the equivalent of 35 days forecourt sales, or just under a 10% drop.
I suspect these figures tell us a number of things. That we're in recession of course, but also that people are giving up driving completely, driving less or driving more fuel efficient vehicles. This is of course screamingly obvious, but it also reflects something far deeper - that the years of constantly increasing fuel use are over. It is starting to contract. Of course at the same time fuel use on the roads is diminishing, rail travel is booming. And I can't see this ever changing now.