The mainstream press have been turning out more articles about the fact that the British, and Londoners in particular are driving less, and fewer of us have licenses. Andrew Neather is the latest, in the Standard. Cycalogical picked up the story in May from an Independent article.
There's more evidence just lately: various sources report petrol sales declining by 15% since the credit crunch, and more gloomy news from the car industry that September sales were down 0.8% on the same period in 2010 - which was itself hardly a vintage year. Crucially demand from private buyers fell 9.3 per cent. On the other hand Halfords, one of the few businesses to have a horse in both races, reported a decline in car-related business being compensated by robust bike sales.
And it ain't about to end any time soon. Although oil prices have taken a battering just recently, approaching the $100/bbl level earlier in the week before ending just over $106 today, the dollar has been rising in value which will negate some of the benefit to UK consumers. And the most optimistic scenario for the world economy seems to be low growth for some years, while the worst-case is complete armageddon, so consumers are unlikely to rediscover their profligate pre-recession spending habits for a while.
So the question seems to be, how long will the Tories persist in gearing their transport policy around the motor car, if more and more people are looking for lower-cost ways of travelling?