Scooters are commuters new weapon of choice

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As commuters feel the pinch with rising fuel prices, more and more people in the UK are turning to two wheels as an option to get them into work However, it is not the pedal-powered variety two-wheeler, but petrol-powered scooters which are proving increasingly popular, with the Motorcycle Industry Association revealing that registrations were up over 10% in 2011 on the previous year’s figures.

Motorcycle scooters, which have an engine size of over 125cc, are experiencing an even more impressive boom, with registrations for this kind of vehicle up almost 20% on 2010’s numbers. Sports bikes, with their larger engine capacities, have seen a fall in numbers over the last 12 months, as they also end up being too expensive to run in the current financial climate.

Sales figures from scooter manufacturers seem to back the claims of the MCIA, with most reporting healthy increases in the number of consumers buying new and second-hand scooters. Honda, which makes one of the most widely-driven larger scooters, reported a nearly 40% increase in sales in 2011, selling over 2,000 machines compared to just 765 in 2010.

Peugeot, who claim that the rise in scooter sales is not just down to fuel costs but also car parking charges and above-inflation rises on commuter train routes, saw their figures improve by a massive 60% in 2011 in theLondonarea.

A spokesman for the French motoring giant pointed out that car parking costs have increased by almost 30% at those stations run by Southeastern trains; an extra cost on top of the5% plus increase in ticket prices which was announced recently.

Scooter drivers not only benefit from lower fuel costs, but are also exempt from the unpopular congestion charge and can often find suitable free parking spaces for their smaller vehicles while car drivers are forced to spend a fortune to park either in the city centre or at their local station.