Britons urged to ban cars on Sundays to reduce record petrol and diesel prices

Michael Gove grilled by Hartley-Brewer on car ban cost

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According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), a “car-free Sunday” would help support the uptake of walking and cycling, as part of a 10-step plan to cut the use of oil. With petrol and diesel prices hitting record highs in the UK and around the world, many experts are looking at alternative options to save drivers money and to kickstart the journey to net zero emissions.

Recently, Edinburgh, Brussels, Vancouver and parts of Tokyo have pledged to cut car use in their city centres to promote public health and cultural events.

The concept of a “car-free Sunday” was introduced in Switzerland, the Netherlands and West Germany during the 1973 oil crisis, and it may be rejuvenated for 2022.

If car free days were utilised in large cities every Sunday, around 380,000 barrels of oil per day would be saved.

When using this method only on one Sunday per month, the use of around 95,000 barrels would be avoided.

The IEA estimates that if all 10 of their proposals are taken up, it could cut demand for oil by 2.7 million barrels per day within the next four months.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the USA, the UK and Australia have pledged to ban the import of Russian oil, with many, including Volodymyr Zelensky, calling on the European Union to do the same.

Another proposal put forward by the IEA is for countries and states to reduce speed limits on motorways by at least 10km/h.

The Paris-based advisory group pointed again to the 1973 oil crisis where several European countries and the United States did slash speed limits.

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If this was applied to cars only, it could lead to a global saving of around 290,000 barrels of oil per day, with a further 140,000 barrels being saved if heavy trucks reduce their speed.

According to current RAC Fuel Watch data, the average price for a litre of unleaded petrol stands at 165.89p.

Diesel drivers are also being set back, with average prices hitting 176.76p per litre, just under one pence cheaper than a litre of super unleaded petrol.

There are fears that further oil prices will continue, having a knock-on effect for petrol and diesel prices, as the war in Ukraine rages on.

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