News Column

Motorists Unhappy With 'Patched Up' Britain

Apr 17 2013 12:00AM

Marketwire

Tracker

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 04/17/13 -- The annual AXA Motoring Census report today revealed that one in three UK motorists (38 per cent) believe the state of Britain's roads is unacceptable, with just three per cent revealing that they believe the standard of roads to be 'excellent'.

The majority of those who criticised Britain's roads placed blame for poor conditions on the unhealthy tendency to use quick-fix measures (68 per cent) to patch up our roads, rather than repairing for the long-term. Half (51 per cent) were frustrated by excessive delays to vital repair work. Motorists who took part in the Census highlighted general poor road surfaces (78 per cent) but also significant drainage problems (44 per cent) on Britain's roads following the wet weather of 2012.

These damning results come despite the Government's extended funding commitment to the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP). The Government may have committed to the HMEP priority of getting it "Right First Time", but it seems that the public is not yet seeing this principle being put into practice.

Basic road maintenance issues were also high on the agenda with more than a quarter (27 per cent) of motorists highlighting the diminishing road markings and 22 per cent complaining of poor lighting on Britain's roads. Both of these elements are vital to motorist and pedestrian safety.

Amanda Edwards, from AXA car insurance commented: "British motorists are clearly unhappy with the poor state of our roads. With the backlog of repairs to UK roads estimated to require GBP 13 billion of investment, it is not surprising that drivers are noticing the repercussions."

The report went on to highlight some key findings in the worst-affected areas. Road conditions were worst in Scotland, where just 13 per cent of those surveyed were happy with the state of roads. However, even in London which had the highest rate of motorist satisfaction, only a quarter of respondents considered the roads to be good - while 31 per cent actively described them as poor.

Respondents from the East Midlands also reported poor surfacing (90%) and roads becoming submerged by large puddles (52%). As both Scotland and the East Midlands have recently suffered extreme weather and flooding, it appears that British roads are currently ill equipped to withstand harsh winters and extreme weather conditions.

Top five road maintenance gripes for UK motorists:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------Ranking Issue Percentage (%)----------------------------------------------------------------------------1 Pot holes 87----------------------------------------------------------------------------2 Poorly surfaced roads 78----------------------------------------------------------------------------3 Poor drainage 44----------------------------------------------------------------------------4 Poor road markings 27----------------------------------------------------------------------------5 Poorly lit roads 22----------------------------------------------------------------------------



In almost every region of the UK, potholes continue to be the most prevalent problem. More than 90 per cent cited potholes as a problem in Scotland, the Midlands, Yorkshire, the South East and Northern Ireland. Wales was the only exception, where a greater percentage (75 per cent) attributed their dissatisfaction to poorly surfaced roads instead. However, a significant 73 per cent of Welsh drivers still recognised potholes as a factor of poor road conditions.

Edwards commented on the survey results: "Potholes alone cost the UK's drivers millions of pounds each year in car and tyre repairs. Furthermore, poorly managed road networks can contribute to an increased risk of accident and threat to motorist and pedestrians alike. We find it staggering that so many motorists have highlighted issues surrounding poor road markings and lighting - two key aspects of helping to avoid accidents."

Younger drivers aged 18-24 were most likely to judge roads to be good or excellent (27 per cent), while 45-54 year olds were most likely to criticise the condition of Britain's roads. However, at every age category a greater number of motorists reported roads to be poor or very poor than those who reviewed them positively.

(1) RoSPA research, http://www.rospa.com/faqs/detail.aspx?faq=296

About the research: Research carried out by OnePoll in November 2012 among 2,000 UK motorists.

About AXA

AXA is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and underwrites a broad range of products for individuals and businesses. AXA Direct Insurance offers car, home and travel insurance through its website www.axainsurance.com and is designed to make buying insurance fast, secure, convenient and easy-to-use.

The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with more than 163,000 employees serving 102 million clients in 57 countries. In 2012, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 90.1 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 4.3 billion. AXA had Euro 1,116 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2012.

In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Wealth, AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary, AXA Personal Direct and Partnerships, AXA PPP healthcare, AXA Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin. AXA employs over 12,000 staff in the UK.

The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 - Bloomberg: CS FP - Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA's American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.

The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.

It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme's Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.



Contacts:
Brazil (PR agency for AXA)
Luke O'Mahony or Jack Davies
020 7785 7383
axa@agencybrazil.com





Source: Marketwire


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