Recession making motorists less engaged with issues, finds report
15 July 2009

Motorists in the UK are feeling less engaged with major policy decisions and are losing interest in important motoring issues as a result of the recession and a lack of government, according to a report published today by the RAC.

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The annual Report on Motoring says that issues such as the environment, traffic management and road pricing are of less importance to motorists now than they were a year ago. A quarter do not consider CO2 emissions when buying a car, up from 16 per cent last year, while the number concerned by congestion and slower journey times dropped from 94 per cent last year to 86 per cent.

Along with economic pressures causing motorists to disengage with issues, the report says that their voices are “not being heard,” and they are moving away from “forming a partnership with government and car makers to improve motoring,” as seen in the 2008 ROM.

The report also says the government needs to improve the way of communicates changes to law and policy, citing a lack of understanding among motorists of the road tax banding system as an example on poor communication. Only a third are aware of the bandings, and of those only one in six understood them.

Efforts by the government to manage congestion and roads have met with approval. Redesigning road layouts, hard shoulder running and advanced warning signs on motorways to ease congestion and improve driver information to help them make decisions about avoiding queues.

But the report concludes with the observation that “motorists do not perceive there is a coherent plan for the future of motoring. They are confused by a plethora of national and local government policies, many of which appear to be conceived in isolation of one another.”

Dan Stevens

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