…because travelling on four weeks is becoming prohibitively expensive, "forcing drivers off the road" and onto bikes

‘Chancellor’s Budget has boosted bikes’…

Car loan specialist Car Finance 247 has spoken out on last week’s Budget, which is going to hit all drivers "drastically" and is set to "grow the bicycle industry", according to the firm.

Key measures from Chancellor’s George Osborne’s Budget include sticking with the increase in fuel costs from August, where petrol is predicted to hit £1.45 a litre and diesel £1.50 a litre.

Vehicle excise duty, or car tax (not road tax, of course) is to rise though it will be frozen for road hauliers.

Electric cars are set to suffer through a failure to extend the company car tax exemption scheme beyond 2015 for e-cars.

“The announcements of these changes are a real blow both to private individuals and businesses that have fleets," said Car Finance 247 director Louis Rix. "Coupled with recent announcements of road maintenance budgets potentially being cut – leaving motorists to pay out more in repairs for damage caused by potholes etc – it all seems to be grim news for drivers.

“With talk of trying to boost the economy to get us out of recession, it seems hard to swallow that motorists are going to have to pay more to get in and out of work and the road network is going to be left to rot.

"The only industry we can see growing due to this set of policies is the bicycle industry, as motorists will be forced to take to their bikes as commuting by car becomes too expensive."

‘Use duty increase to fund public transport and cycle infrastructure’
While cycle trade distributors, and possibly also cycle retailers, will have to absorb August’s fuel duty rise, sustainable transport charity Sustrans raised a similar point to Car Finance 247 on transport poverty.

Sustrans said: "Without clear investment in alternatives to car travel, the 3p increase in fuel duty is likely to lead to more British families falling into ‘transport poverty’."

The charity has gone on to call for the Chancellor to use the fuel duty increase to fund trains, buses and make towns and cities safer for walking and cycling.

Sustrans’ policy advisor Eleanor Besley commented: “British people need a choice about how we travel, not a choice between getting to work or affording the weekly shop.

“Public transport is unaffordable, unreliable and often doesn’t exist at all, many people need to have a car to get around.

“The Chancellor said this would be a fair budget for working people, without improving transport we can all benefit from, the Chancellor is forcing people to consider whether they can afford to get to work.”

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