“Rural and car dependent motorists should not be penalised with higher fuel taxes”, it says.
With 24% of household money spent on motoring, the RAC believes that inflated world oil prices are causing financial hardship to impoverished families.
Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation, says: "Freezing the level of fuel duty would help the Government to regain the confidence of motorists, but will still leave drivers vulnerable to world petrol price rises. Any rise in duty would create further hardship for essential car users.
"Fuel duty is a regressive tax which hits those hardest who can least afford it - the Chancellor should be aware that motorists may vote with their wheels in the forthcoming election if he chooses to penalise them."
"UK motorists already contribute more than £42bn in motoring taxes of which only £6bn is invested on our roads. The Chancellor is already benefiting from increased VAT receipts due to the higher cost of fuel."
The RAC Foundation has also condemned moves to downgrade sections of the trunk road network in England and Wales and urged the Government to reverse the process, which will ‘de-trunk’ or remove the responsibility for thousands of miles of current trunk roads from the Highways Agency to local authorities.
This is already well underway and by March 31 2006 the strategic network will have been reduced to around 4,165 miles from around 6,580 in 2000.