Are car-free Sundays the way to fuel prices?

With the price of fuel at the pumps still at eye-wateringly high levels, motorists are looking for ways to save money and perhaps refill their cars less often.

There are a variety of ways you can help to manage your fuel efficiency, and data from traffic surveys suggests that some of these might also help ease congestion and journey times for drivers on the roads. Here are some top tips:

Reduce your driving speed – this is particularly true for motorway driving. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, reducing your top speed by just 6 miles per hour could help to reduce consumption. It might also help with traffic flow, which in turn will reduce heavy braking and make a further impact on your fuel use.

Take heavy things out of your car – we tend to drive around with all sorts of things in the back seats and the boot. But the heavier your car, the more fuel you will use. So take a look at what you can do to reduce the weight you’re carrying. The same applies to roof boxes and removeable roof bars – they cause drag, which in turn burns more fuel.

Check your tyre pressure – when your tyres are soft, there’s an impact on the amount of fuel you use. So always check your tyres are pumped to the recommended levels, especially if you are going on a longer journey, or travelling with a full vehicle.

Keep your eye on the traffic – this might seem obvious, because we are always looking at traffic conditions, but you will be more fuel-efficient if you reduce the ‘accelerate-brake-accelerate’ way of driving and instead drive more smoothly to the conditions ahead of you.

Turn off your air conditioning – using your AC system uses engine power, which in turn uses fuel. So unless you really need it, turn it off.

Try car-free days – as part of the International Energy Authority’s suggestions for reducing oil demand, it suggested that cities implement ‘car free Sundays’. This would automatically reduce the amount of traffic on the roads and encourage people to either stay local, or use public transport. You can also implement your own car free days – perhaps by working from home, or planning your day so that you can walk or use public transport a couple of times a week. You might be surprised at how much longer you can go between filling up – and it should help your budget too.

To find out more about traffic volumes, congestion and journey times on the road network, talk to Road Data Services about our traffic surveys and other data collection services. We can help gather the data that informs better traffic and road network planning.

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