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What are UK driver's biggest frustrations in 2023?

By Mathilda Bartholomew | October 26, 2023

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Fuel prices? Pot holes? Cyclists? A report by RAC has revealed UK driver's top motoring concerns...

What are UK driver's biggest frustrations in 2023?

According to the latest RAC Report on Motoring, the discontent with the state of roads in the UK has hit unprecedented levels. A staggering 49 percent of drivers have identified it as their top motoring-related concern in 2023. The report highlights a peak in frustration over inadequate road maintenance and the dismal state of pothole-ridden roads, marking the highest recorded level to date.

This year, road conditions have emerged as the primary concern for motorists, overshadowing other issues. Only 42 percent of drivers, a seven percent decrease, identified soaring petrol and diesel costs as the second most common concern in the survey. Notably, anxiety about fuel prices dominated the previous year's survey during the peak of the fuel crisis. However, this year's poll, conducted in March, captured a moment of relief in prices before their subsequent rise in the summer.

The 2023 survey ranks the poor standard of other motorists' driving as the third most pressing concern, cited by 31 percent of drivers—a percentage similar to the previous year. Although the report lists a total of 19 concerns, most have remained relatively consistent with the previous year. A marginal three percent increase is observed in drivers considering the cost of insurance a top concern, now standing at 21 percent. Conversely, concerns about the behaviour of cyclists have slightly decreased from 22 to 20 percent.

The RAC report attributes the deteriorating road conditions to a prolonged lack of maintenance funding and the impact of an exceptionally wet winter, creating 'perfect conditions' for the proliferation of potholes. This sentiment is echoed by 67 percent of drivers who claim that their local roads are worse than the previous year, up from 60 percent in the 2022 report.

The research also reveals that 81 percent of drivers have had to take evasive action to navigate around potholes, while 69 percent report having to abruptly slow down to traverse them. Additionally, a concerning 35 percent of drivers admit that potholes have compelled them to swerve onto the other side of the road or into another lane.

When drivers were questioned about their views on the state of the roads, the response was overwhelmingly bleak. A striking 82 percent of drivers express dissatisfaction, stating that roads are not resurfaced to a sufficiently high standard or as frequently as necessary.

RAC's head of policy, Simon Williams, emphasises the need to halt the ongoing deterioration of local roads by providing councils with the assured funding required to plan comprehensive maintenance programs, including the resurfacing of roads beyond patch-up capabilities.

The RAC, citing a significant increase of almost 40 percent in pothole-related incidents attended to by their patrols in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year, advocates for allocating 2p from every litre of fuel revenue for dedicated road repairs.

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