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Company car drivers call for better roads

Press release   •   May 23, 2012 00:05 BST

Company car drivers want to see more money going into improving roads as the twenty-fourth annual RAC Report on Motoring¹ reveals that 85% of company car drivers do not think taxes are sufficiently reinvested in local roads. The Report also highlights that one third (33%) would support more toll roads to ease rising congestion.

The Report into UK motoring behaviour and attitudes reveals frustrations at travel delays are a key concern for company car drivers who want solutions to the issues they face on the roads. Over 70% of respondents said that congestion is getting worse and three quarters (73%) want targeted improvements to local roads to relieve bottlenecks.

The Report also shows that business drivers aren’t afraid to put their foot down and see speeding as a lesser crime than their private motoring counterparts. Nearly nine in ten (87%) company car drivers admit to speeding on motorways, compared with less than two thirds (61%) of private motorists. It is no surprise then that business drivers are also more likely to favour no penalty for minor speeding offences - 38% of company car drivers are against speeding fines, versus 29% of private motorists.

In addition, nearly three-quarters of company car drivers support different speed limits on similar classes of roads, reflecting the desire of business drivers to get where they need to go, fast.

David Bizley, RAC technical director, said: “We recognise that company car drivers are under huge pressure to complete each journey as quickly and efficiently as possible, so the importance of maintaining roads to a high standard and speed restrictions are all key issues for those who drive for business.”

“However, it is worrying that such a high number of company car drivers are breaking speed limits and view this as somehow less serious than other motoring offences. Good business must not come at the expense of road safety.

"Helping business to keep moving safely is why we welcome the Government consultation on raising the motorway speed limit to 80mph. However, it is important that the limit is raised only on those stretches of motorway where it is appropriate to do so – not all motorways are sufficiently modern or well-designed to handle higher speeds at present. The RAC is also calling for more effective enforcement of speed limits to ensure 90mph does not become the new de facto limit.”

Despite flouting speed limits, company car drivers are the least likely of all motorist groups polled by the RAC to take drugs and drive. The requirement by many employers that their drivers have a clean licence may explain why just 1% of company drivers say they have driven under the influence of drugs - 4% lower than the average figure across all motoring groups.

The rising cost of motoring is shown to affect company car drivers less than other motorists, however they are still feeling the pinch. Nearly half (48%) say they will have to cut down on the amount they drive if fuel prices continue to increase and have admitted to changing their driving style to conserve fuel (49%).

As a result of these findings, the RAC is calling on Government to scrap the planned rise in fuel duty in August at a time when drivers are being hit by record fuel prices and are struggling to cope with the impact of high motoring costs.

Notes to Editors

For all media enquiries, please contact the RAC press team on +44 (0)1454 664 123. The line is manned by an on-call press officer outside office hours. ISDN radio studio facilities are available for interviews Monday to Friday.

About the RAC

First formed in 1897, the RAC has been looking after the needs of its members and championing the interests of drivers for more than 120 years.

Today it has more than eight million members and is one of the UK’s most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistanceinsurancebuying a used carvehicle inspections and checkslegal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

The RAC is the motorist’s champion and campaigns to support the interests of its members and UK drivers at a national level. This includes voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring, particularly the price of fuel and the high level of tax levied on it, advancing levels of road safety, and supporting the needs of all drivers, from young to old.

The RAC’s annual Report on Motoring – first published in 1989 – is one of a kind and provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today’s motorists.

For the very latest news on UK fuel prices, check RAC Fuel Watch. It provides a comprehensive guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices – both at the wholesale level and at the pump - and tracks these prices daily to help drivers check if the price they pay to fill up is a fair one.