The vast majority of the public believe drivers are under siege as the authorities conduct a relentless “War on the Motorist”, according to a startling new poll.
Of those declaring an opinion, nearly two thirds of the country (61 per cent) think the UK’s 35 million motorists are under attack compared with 39 per cent taking the opposite view. These figures rise to 64 per cent among Conservative supporters and 63 per cent among Labour backers.
Among their bugbears are congestion charging, ultra-low emissions zones of the kind proposed by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars, and extensive use of cameras to enforce speed limits and other restrictions such as bus lanes.
According to the poll conducted by Savanta ComRes for the Alliance of British Drivers, with don’t knows included,
older voters are the most likely to argue that there is a war on motorists, with a majority of over 55-year-olds (52 per cent) believing that motorists are being targeted.
Even younger voters, are far more likely to accept the truth about the ‘war on motorists’ than not – with nearly a 10 per cent difference for 18-24 year olds (44 per cent against 35 per cent).
A clear majority of voters (59 per cent) want the government to either postpone or scrap the 2030 ban on new diesel or petrol cars. It is clearly a key part of the public belief that motorists are being unfairly targeted.
In light of the cost-of-living crisis, voters are deeply hostile to further expansion of punitive ultra-low emission zones. Two thirds of voters do not believe that plans for ULEZ schemes in towns and cities should be retained with families struggling to pay their bills.
The public clearly want the government to intervene. More than half of Londoners do not believe that the government should continue to do nothing and let Sadiq Khan’s planned extension of ULEZ continue. Outside London, this rises to nearly 80 per cent ofpeople.
Even the basic principle of congestion charging lacks public support. Fifty per cent of voters oppose the levy, compared with 40 per cent support.
Bob Bull, chairman of the ABD, said:
“If proof were needed, this poll shows that the British people believe that the authorities at every level are engaged in a war on the motorist.
“The official justification is often a woolly environmentalism, but we suspect that the real reason is that governments, councils and others regard the country’s 35 million drivers as a cash cow to be fleeced of their money at every turn.
“Take the ban on new petrol and diesel cars after 2030. This crazy measure is both impractical and far from green. Impractical because electric cars are wildly expensive and because we don’t have the charging points or grid to cope with such a rapid upheaval.
“Far from green because evidence mounts every day that making electric vehicles – especially their huge batteries – generates more carbon dioxide emissions than the manufacture of conventional vehicles.
“Meanwhile, Sadiq Khan swans around London in a chauffeur-driven Range Rover. At this rate, only the rich and the powerful will be able to travel freely in our cities.”
Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,239 UK adults aged 18+ online from 30 June – 3 July 2023. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of UK adults.