July 23, 2009

UK motorists being driven crazy by deteriorating roads

Despite paying billions in road taxes, British drivers believe not enough care is being taken of the nation’s roads.
While news that a majority of UK motorists are unhappy with the amount of road tax they pay is unlikely to come as a shock to anyone, the extent to which disaffection is growing among the nation’s drivers is still somewhat surprising.

According to the latest research, around four in five Britons believe that they are paying over-the-odds for getting behind the wheel, with high road tax rates exacerbated by added costs such as car insurance, high fuel prices and even road tolls.
At the same time, a similar proportion are even more frustrated as they fail to see where their money is being spent, with many convinced that the state of British roads is deteriorating despite the millions being generated for the Treasury.

While it could be argued that motorists are often only too happy to play the victim card and believe that they are being unfairly persecuted by those in power, in this instance the pessimists may have a point, with the motoring group estimating that around £45 billion worth of road taxes are paid each year across the UK and of this just one-sixth is ploughed back into the national transport infrastructure.

Notably, 82 per cent of those drivers polled said that they felt the quality of roads is deteriorating, representing a 14 per cent increase on the 2008 study, while many also feel that speed cameras are little more than cash-generating machines for local councils and police forces.

At the same time, motoring groups in America are mooting the idea of introducing varying rates of road tax, dependent upon how heavy – and therefore how damaging to a surface – a vehicle is.

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