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Drivers seemingly ignored in election, despite contributing 10% of the UK’s tax revenue!

United Kingdom Parliament

In a recent report released by The AA, it has been claimed that drivers are being ignored in the policy race leading up to the May 2015 general election.

It is obvious that political parties cannot please everyone and have to pick and choose which policies to pitch. However the motoring public seems to have remained completely untargeted; despite tax revenues from motorists contributing just under 10% of Britain’s £582.6 billion in tax revenue! This revenue is generated by £26.9bn in fuel duties, £6.1bn in vehicle excise duties, plus a further £25bn from VAT on fuel and car sales, company car tax and insurance premium tax.

The Liberal Democrats have made a daring move to increase Vehicle Excise Duty by £25 which could cause a backlash amongst the driving population. However they’ll be bidding that they can make this up with a vote winning cut in another sector no doubt.

There are a lot of votes being left on the table by politicians who are not currently targeting motorists. The AA’s populous panel revealed the following issues as being the most important to UK motorists:

1. Potholes and the condition of roads in general – We all know that some harsh winters and chronic underinvestment in Britain’s road infrastructure has left driving conditions pretty shaky! Therefore it’s no surprise that the condition of roads is a big concern amongst the driving population. Many vehicles have sustained active damage to their suspension from potholes and this is actively costing people money to repair.

2. Overall cost of motoring – Driving is an expensive activity; which is something all the political parties can probably agree on. Despite a recent drop in fuel prices the overall trend for years has been steadily rising costs. With this in mind anything that can be done to curb the cost of motoring is surely going to be a popular policy.

3. Driver behaviour – Unsocial and dangerous driving is third on the list of issues which are most important to the UK’s drivers. Although government can’t directly control the actions of other motorists, it can have an influence on policing and punitive measures for such behaviour.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “Thirty five million drivers, most with a vote, need to influence politicians in this election. We know that transport issues can influence votes locally. Several local councils have been unseated due to unpopular parking polices, so when those canvassers knock on your doors make sure you ask them about motoring matters.

There is always a fear that the motorist will be made the ‘cash cow’ once the election is over, when political parties feel they can quietly drop manifesto promises.”

The perfect motoring election manifesto according to the research would address the following issues:

  • Fewer potholes
  • Keeping motoring costs down
  • Improving driver behaviour
  • Widened roads
  • New junctions
  • Driver education
  • Road safety education on national curriculum
  • Regulation of private parking enforcers
  • Incentives to buy safer or greener cars
  • Free school buses and better public transport
  • Dedicated facilities for cyclists
  • Raise motorway limit to 80mph and enforce
  • Consult residents before streetlights are turned off

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