The AA has launched its Motorists’ Manifesto, including a #Vote4BetterRoads digital campaign.
The AA is urging drivers are urged to question prospective parliamentary candidates on what they will do to help drivers.
The AA Populus Panel has been busy in the run-up to the big vote. Over the last 12 months, the AA has been taking the pulse of the great British motorist to find out the issues that matter to them.
UK voters with cars and other vehicles pay more in fuel duty (£26.9bn) alone than UK firms and companies pay in business rates (£26.8bn) and the equivalent of 97.5% of what is received through council tax (£27.5bn). Other motoring taxes raise another £6.1bn in vehicle excise duties, and a further £25bn from VAT on fuel and car sales, company car tax and insurance premium tax.
Of the £582.6 billion raised in UK taxes last financial year, almost 10% came from motorists.
In return, road users have to put up with roads that are covered in potholes, puddles and ponds and are often blacked out after midnight. In addition some councils take motorists for a ride with hiked parking permits and minor parking and traffic infringements turned into an alternative tax.
The AA says that so far in this election campaign little has been said about roads and the voters that rely on them daily apart from the Liberal Democrats floating a £25 hike in Vehicle Excise Duty which is likely to backfire with many drivers.
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.
“We will endeavour to do our bit by sounding out all the main political parties on their motoring and transport polices, reminding them that motorists can vote with their wheels. The AA does have influence; prior to the last election we were instrumental in getting two out of the three main political parties to pledge to outlaw rogue wheel clamping on private land. The good news is, after further pressure from the AA, this was subsequently achieved.
“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. Rest assured, the AA will be putting pressure on the parties to come clean on plans for fuel duty, vehicle excise duty (VED), company car tax and the use of tolls to pay for new and/or improved roads. Indeed, our research found 85 per cent of AA Members are concerned that motoring taxes will increase after the election.
“The vast majority of AA members (93 per cent) wouldn’t trust any government to deliver a fair system of tolls. Hence we will continue to oppose tolls and believe (as in Scotland) tolls should be dropped from key river crossings.
“We know that in the past motorists have been influential in elections. It was believed that votes from ‘Mondeo Man’ helped Tony Blair to victory in 1997. The AA is apolitical and we understand that elections are not won or lost on motoring issues alone. Health, education and the economy tend to sway the results. However, transport and motoring are key to economic growth in the UK and shouldn’t be side-lined.”
The manifesto follows the Fleet Industry Manifesto, launched by Fleet News, ACFO and the BVRLA last year.