Their latest press release:
Petrol prices fuel cost of eurozone holidaysWell, the RAC has gone a bit "off-road" there, hasn't it? How are we to continue with our motorist activism and advocacy when one of our central tenets is undermined by what we had hitherto assumed to be one of our best and most respected pro-motoring advocates. A dig amongst the RAC Foundation media centre hinted at the problem:
3 August 2011
Drivers of cars using unleaded petrol will be in for a shock when they fill up in some of the most popular holiday destinations on the continent this summer
Contrary to popular myth - and despite the financial turmoil across much of the eurozone – the UK does not have the most expensive petrol prices in Europe.
Using the current tourist exchange rate, eight of the 17 countries which use the Euro as their national currency are shown to charge more at the pumps for unleaded fuel than the UK.
Amongst eurozone nations the most expensive fuel is to be found in Greece (£1.55 per litre), followed by The Netherlands (£1.54) and then France and Belgium (both £1.47). After that comes Portugal and Italy (both £1.45), Finland (£1.42) and Germany (£1.40). In the UK the current unleaded price is £1.36 per litre.
Informing the debate
The RAC Foundation is happy to provide evidence-based comment where appropriate to help inform the transport debate.
And there you have it, those words "evidence-based". That's not what's needed for furthering the cause of Aberdeen Cars (and all our brother and sister pressure groups) at all. What's needed is ill-founded assertions based on indignant self-regard - in other words, what we call "common sense".
We've found other examples of the RAC's "evidence-based" research on their website; research like:
"The Car in British Society" (pdf)
This pamphlet has, as one of its a priori assumptions:
...the [fact that] unrestrained use of motor vehicles, especially in urban areas, produces real public disadvantages.To which we say: "No it doesn't! What are you talking about? You're just jealous of my nice car! What's wrong... can't you afford a nice car?"
The RAC pamphlet uses as its background an earlier RAC "study" - Car Dependence - of which they say:
The study identified a group of users and trip purposes (‘the low hanging fruit’) that could relatively easily be encouraged to reduce their car use (mainly through transfer to other modes).Of course, what the RAC have failed to recognise is the fact that most people aspire to the convenience of personal motor transport, pay dearly for the privilege, provide much employment, contribute greatly in taxes, and then people expect them to ‘leave the car at home’, while their money is spent creating cycle lanes and toucan crossings and the like for freeloading cyclists and pedestrians (what we now call "odd footpeople").
Additionally, most people in Aberdeen invest a lot of time and money in their cars. This is a natural way of gaining respect from those who will see them in their nice cars with cherished plates. To spoil this effect (e.g. when freeloaders overtake them on a bike or bus) infuriates us drivers of these nice cars. - This is completely understandable. Cycling must therefore be stamped out, bus lanes scrapped and all
So, forget what the RAC splitters say, they're just wrong.
Many, many more RAC anti-car rants can be found in pamphlet form on their website, anti car rants like:
"Die Hard Drivers are still wedded to their cars"
Trends in Modal Shift (PDF)
"...twenty percent of car journeys could be made by transport other than the car."
The Effectiveness of Speed Cameras (PDF)
"It is clear that collisions and casualties decreased substantially at the more
than 4000 sites covered by the four-year evaluation. [...] Deployment of speed cameras leads to appreciable reductions in speed in the vicinity of the cameras and substantial reductions in collisions and casualties there over and above the likely effects of regression to the mean."