Countryside Alliance: Cost of commute poses one of the biggest risks to rural economy

New research shows that on average those living in the countryside spend almost £17 MORE on fuel each month than urban commuters

The Countryside Alliance warns that the viability of rural businesses and communities is threatened by the spiralling costs of driving and urge George Osborne to cut fuel duty in his PBR next Tuesday.

Following the debate on the rising cost of fuel in the House of Commons that took place earlier this month, the Countryside Alliance – the leading voice of rural Britain – has today released figures that calculate the cost of the monthly commute for all Local Authority areas in Britain, and shows how much more rural commuters are having to pay each month to get to work. With this in mind, the Alliance has urged the Chancellor not to ignore fuel duty in his pre-budget report next week.

Key Findings:

On average people living in rural Local Authorities will pay £67.45 this month on fuel for their monthly commute – a massive £16.50 (or 24 per cent) more than people spend on fuel for their monthly commute in urban Local Authorities.

The average cost of fuel for the monthly commute for people living in rural authorities has risen by over £5 since the start of the year – equal to 7 per cent over the last 10 months and 2 per cent over the current rate of inflation.

The top 10 Local Authorities for the cheapest monthly fuel costs are all classed as urban, with residents of the City of London and Aberdeen paying on average under £30 a month in fuel costs.

By contrast, 9 out of the 10 Local Authorities that have the most expensive monthly fuel costs are classed as rural, with residents in the Western Isles, Ceredigion and Maldon paying the most in fuel costs based on the average distance to work.


Jenny Dunn, Policy Researcher for the Countryside Alliance, said:

“The unprecedented rise in fuel costs since the beginning of the year has placed a heavy burden on people who need their car to get to work. This burden weighs far heavier on rural people, for whom cars are a necessity due to the long commutes and lack of public transport options. The Countryside Alliance is urging the Chancellor to take action on the cost of fuel as a matter of urgency by cutting fuel duty. The future viability of rural businesses and communities are under severe threat from the spiralling costs of driving.”

Top 10 Local Authorities with the highest monthly fuel costs


The average length of the monthly commute has been calculated using the census, which records the data of the average distance to work for each local authority. All calculations for the amount of fuel needed for the monthly commute are based on the fuel consumption of a Ford 1.8 Mondeo Mistral; which is 36.2 MPG. Each week the Department for Energy and Climate Change release the pump price of a litre of petrol and those figures have been used to calculate the total fuel cost using the most recent pump price. Local Authorities have been defined as ‘urban’ or ‘rural’ using Office for National Statistic definition for English Local Authorities; National Statistics definition for Welsh Local Authorities; and Scottish Government definitions for Scottish Local Authorities.


Notes to Editors

1. The full breakdown of figures – Cost of the Commute Research – is attached to this email or available by emailing

2. About the Countryside Alliance

With over 100,000 members the Countryside Alliance defends and promotes country sports and rural life at Parliament, in the media and on the ground.

The Countryside Alliance believes a vibrant countryside needs five key changes and calls on the Government to:

SERVICES – Ensure an accessible and reliable rural transport and broadband network
HOUSING – Promote local solutions to the lack of affordable rural housing
EDUCATION – Enable all children to gain a practical understanding of the countryside
FARMING – Support British farmers and producers
COUNTRY PURSUITS – Repeal the Hunting Act and champion country pursuits

For more information or to arrange interviews please call the Countryside Alliance press office on 0207 840 9220 or 07500 834 163