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UK News What do drivers think of manifesto promises? Compulsory eye tests for older motorists and fewer driverless car trials on UK roads receive support

14:40  09 december  2019
14:40  09 december  2019 Source:   thisismoney.co.uk

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With the general election on Thursday, the AA has asked almost 18,000 drivers what they thought of transport polices put forward by each party's manifestos.

It found that two thirds fear that taxes will rise, along with the price of fuel, parking and insurance - no matter whoever comes to power.

When asked what policies they would get behind and like to see culled, motorists backed calls for older drivers to have compulsory eyes tests but wanted to see fewer driverless car trials taking place on UK roads.

a man and a woman standing in front of a microscope: Seeing clearly: When asked what sort of policies drivers wanted to see the next government support, top of the list was mandatory eye tests for older motorists © Provided by This Is Money Seeing clearly: When asked what sort of policies drivers wanted to see the next government support, top of the list was mandatory eye tests for older motorists

With the vote likely to dominate headlines this week, the AA wanted to gauge driver's opinions on promises being made by all parties.

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Now, conventional wisdom would say that we'll just take these driver assistance systems and we'll kind of So back in 2013, we had the first test of a self-driving car where we let regular people use it. We are looking forward to having this technology on the road , and we think the right path is to go through

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More than a quarter of the 17,910 licence holders polled said motoring-based policies play an important role in deciding who they will vote for.

That said, the general consensus was that each party had laid out a variety of underwhelming pledges, with the vast majority believing they will backtrack on claims that they'll save motorists money.

Despite a number of manifestos saying they will free or cut duties on drivers, 66 per cent said they are concerned that road based taxes - namely Vehicle Excise Duty (or car tax) and Insurance Premium Tax on motor premiums - will increase after the election.

Similarly, 68 per cent of motorists polled have said they fear that other road based costs, such as the price of fuel and parking fees, will also rise no matter which party sets the agenda in government.

What do drivers think of manifesto promises? Compulsory eye tests for older motorists and fewer driverless car trials on UK roads receive support

  What do drivers think of manifesto promises? Compulsory eye tests for older motorists and fewer driverless car trials on UK roads receive support Over a quarter of 17,910 licence holders polled said motoring-based policies play an important role in deciding who they will vote for. However, manifestos were light on transport promises.It found that two thirds fear that taxes will rise, along with the price of fuel, parking and insurance - no matter whoever comes to power.

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A driverless transport trial started this month in Greenwich, south-east London, with A prototype Nissan Leaf driverless car . Autonomous technology is expected be introduced on UK motorways in The next stage, coming as early as next year, allows the car to take over on certain roads , such as

As part of the study, drivers were asked to determine their one top transport priority for the next government.

a red double decker bus driving down a city street: Driverless vehicle trials are already underway in the UK, though most are conducted with a motorists sat in the driver's seat to intervene if anything goes wrong © Provided by This Is Money Driverless vehicle trials are already underway in the UK, though most are conducted with a motorists sat in the driver's seat to intervene if anything goes wrong

Unsurprisingly, the condition of roads romped home with a third (35 per cent) of drivers saying potholes and road markings needed repairing.

The next most common push was for the scrapping of All Lane Running smart motorways, with 10 per cent making this their key motoring issue.

Rounding out the top three was a call for more incentives to help the nation move from traditional petrol and diesel cars into greener alternatives like hybrids and electric vehicles.

However, when provided with a range of policy concepts by the AA, motorists showed a far greater support - and opposition - for other transport changes.

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Older drivers need to be aware that medications can significantly impair their driving by making Eyes change with age. They lose the ability to focus quickly. Peripheral vision narrows and the retina A few weeks ago a 97 year old driver speeding down my road drove his car into a tractor killing a 12

While technical aspects of driverless cars have been widely reported and discussed, the debate has now reached the morality of autonomous vehicles. More value was placed on a group of people as opposed to one or a few , and there was an expressed desire to save children before older people.

At the top of the good ideas list was compulsory eye tests for all people over 70 when renewing their driving licences. A massive 81 per cent said this would be a law they would get behind.

The opposite end of the spectrum showed that over two thirds (67 per cent) thought driverless vehicle trials - which are already taking place on UK roads - were a bad idea and should garner reduced support from the government.

Motoring policies drivers would support and oppose

SUPPORT

1. Compulsory eye sight tests for drivers over 70 applying to renew a driving licence - 81% support

2. Install more Emergency Refuge Areas to motorways without hard shoulders - 79% support

3. Financial incentives to buy new vehicles with greener credentials - 76% support

4. Regulation or licencing of all parking enforcement in private car parks e.g. superstores, service areas - 67% support

5. More voluntary training schemes for qualified drivers e.g. young, old, business - 63% support

OPPOSE

1. Trials of Driverless cars on public roads - 67% oppose

2. Increased taxation on diesel vehicles - 58% oppose

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3. Prioritise high speed rail over road improvements - 49% oppose

4. Build more All Lane Running smart motorways - 47% oppose

5. Make all drivers over 70 years old re-sit their driving test - 45% oppose

Source: AA poll of 17,910 UK drivers

Edmund King, AA president, said it was disappointing that fewer motoring-related policies were put forward by parties and there wasn't a focus on improving safety on the latest motorways or guarantees of freezes to taxes.

'Considering the majority of journeys and freight are moved by roads, all Political Parties seem to have missed a key opportunity to win over the driver,' King explained.

'While some Parties have picked elements of motoring policy in the transport sections of their manifestos, drivers remain unconvinced that one of the nations key infrastructures will be properly invested in.

'We are disappointed that none of the parties say they would address the concerns of 79 per cent of drivers who want more emergency refuge areas on 'smart' motorways.

'Despite many warm words made from podiums in the run up to Thursday, drivers remain sceptical that their wallets will remain untouched as the allure of tinkering with road taxes could prove too much for politicians.'

a street filled with lots of traffic: With smart motorways receiving plenty of negative press in recent months, drivers now want ministers to consider scrapping them entirely - especially those with no hard shoulder © Provided by This Is Money With smart motorways receiving plenty of negative press in recent months, drivers now want ministers to consider scrapping them entirely - especially those with no hard shoulder

He added: 'Drivers already feel under the cosh from £1billion taken in parking surpluses, many more tens of millions of pounds taken in bus lane and moving traffic fines, and only a relatively small proportion of the £40billion in various motoring taxes going into road transport.

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'What politicians give with one hand, they take with another – and drivers fear any new government will just repeat that trick.

'This election could have been a landmark moment for driving in this country, but other issues are clouding their vision.'

Motor industry calls for extension of electric vehicle grants

a motorcycle parked in front of a car: Motorists - and the industry - has called for the government to put in place assurances that grants to help with the purchase of electric vehicles are retained © Provided by This Is Money Motorists - and the industry - has called for the government to put in place assurances that grants to help with the purchase of electric vehicles are retained

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has joined forces with over twenty automotive, environmental, EV charging and fleet organisations to put pressure on the next government to guarantee the extension of the Plug-in Car and Van Grants.

In a joint letter sent to the main party leaders on Monday, they said it is 'vital' government provides future certainty around the status and lifespan of the subsidies if ministers are serious about hitting air pollution targets.

Despite promises from all the main political parties to increase support for electric vehicles, none of their manifestos have explicitly pledged to continue the grant beyond 2020.

Business fleets are buying over 50% of all new vehicles sold each year, including the majority of electric vehicles. With the right support from government this figure will increase, the BVRLA said.

'Any change in the grant must be gradual and clearly signposted, giving customers time to act,' it added.

Gerry Keaney,, the organisation's chief executive, said in a statement: 'Waiting times for some of the most popular battery electric vehicles are already at nine or twelve months, and fleets need to know that the grant will still apply when the vehicle is delivered.

'Fleets are in a unique position to accelerate the shift to more sustainable road transport, but we need the right incentives in place and the Plug-In Grant is crucial.'

Revealed: Christmas getaway roads and rail to avoid .
The rush to get home for Christmas will result in "bumper-to-bumper" traffic as an estimated 31 million leisure trips will be taken in the coming days. © Other Bumper-to-bumper traffic in the run-up to Christmas is near-guaranteed, according to the RAC Research by the RAC and traffic information supplier Inrix suggests the worst jams will be on the M1, M25, M5 and M6.Congestion is predicted to peak on Thursday, as those embarking on an early Christmas getaway fight for road space with commuters.Around 4.7 million leisure trips will take place on that day, according to a survey of 1,600 motorists.

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