AA Voters Ready to Vent Motoring Frustrations on the Doorsteps

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Pent-up frustration with the cost and the traumas of driving in the UK could present a significant challenge for parliamentary candidates during the forthcoming election, the AA warns with the publication of the AA’s Motoring Manifesto today.

The top three motoring concerns don’t seem to be reflected well in the election manifestos - the cost of motoring is the number one issue for drivers.

The cost of motoring heads the top three concerns of 14,848 AA breakdown cover members surveyed as part of the AA/Populus panel - 53% placing it first. It’s an issue that even engages the younger voters, with 41% of 18-24 year olds vexed by how much they pay to drive. The AA has identified “Focus Females” as a substantial group of floating voters, representing 74% of female AA members who say that motoring issues are very or quite important in determining who they will vote for in the election, with a 61% likelihood of being undecided as to who to vote for.

Asked to rate the top three motoring issues they would like to see addressed by the political parties, the AA members’ top three are:

1) The cost of motoring (such as taxes, parking, fuel prices) 53%
2) Illegal drivers (those who don’t register, tax, insure or MoT their cars) 51%
3) Drink or drug-drivers 32%

Also drawing at least a quarter of the votes are concerns about the condition of the roads (30%) and traffic congestion (25%).

Some issues trigger a stronger reaction among certain age groups and in particular areas of the country. Nearly four times as many over-65s are concerned about illegal drivers than those aged 18-24. And AA car insurance members in the North East react even more strongly to the cost of motoring, despite having some of the cheapest fuel prices in the country, than in Northern Ireland, where prices are often the worst.

Presented with 13 possible election manifesto pledges, AA car insurance members showed greatest enthusiasm for free school buses and road safety education as part of the school curriculum. However, they were not so sure about the removal of traffic lights or turning left on red.

Free school buses: Good - 92%
Road safety education on school curriculum: Good - 88%
More voluntary training schemes for qualified drivers: Good -75%, Bad -20%
Raise motorway speed limit enforce at 80mph: Good -71%23%
Ban wheel clamping and other enforcement on private land: Good -71%, Bad -14%
New offence of driving with drink or drugs in blood: Good -71%, Bad -17%
Make some service areas park and ride hubs: Good -66%, Bad -20%
Turn left on red traffic light: Good -60%, Bad -30%
Link fuel duty increases to inflation: Good -46%, Bad -28%, Don’t Know -25%
Establish independent roads commissioner: Good -45%, Don’t Know - 38%
Remove some traffic lights: Good -35%, Bad -48%

The sample of AA car insurance members was also asked which transport issues they would like political candidates to champion:

  •     97% - driving schools should say if the instructor offered is a trainee (the AA only uses fully qualified instructors)
  •     84% - more trenchless technology, so eliminating the need to dig up roads
  •     68% - more public money spent on road maintenance
  •     67% - more public money spent on public transport
  •     66% - more education not prosecution for minor motoring offences
  •     64% - better road junctions
  •     62% - less traffic calming
  •     60% - more government incentives for more environmentally friendly cars
  •     59% - more electric / hybrid cars being driven
  •     50% - more park and ride provision

“The top three motoring concerns don’t seem to be reflected well in the election manifestos - the cost of motoring is the number one issue for drivers. With high fuel costs hurting two-thirds of drivers, the ‘motor voters’ and ‘Focus Females’ want to see urgent action on motoring costs, illegal and drink/drug-driving drivers. We believe that the 43 million drivers out there could be very influential in the outcome of the general election as most are voters” says Edmund King, the AA’s President.


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