Quality of EU highways ‘puts UK roads to shame’

11.13 | 20 August 2018 | | 1 comment

Image: RAC

Nearly 70% of UK drivers believe major roads are better maintained across Europe, a new survey suggests.

Carried out by RAC Europe, the survey canvasses opinions on a range of factors from the friendliness of drivers abroad to the condition of roads and the price of fuel.

43% of respondents say they find driving on the continent less stressful, with 63% saying major roads in mainland Europe suffer from less congestion.

69% said they think major roads are better maintained abroad, compared to 54% when it comes to minor roads.

Rod Dennis, RAC Europe spokesperson, said: “It really does seem to be a welcome break for UK motorists when they venture abroad by car. Almost half say they find the experience less stressful than driving on Britain’s broken roads.

“Our research also reveals just how keen many of us are about getting behind the wheel on continental roads which drivers tell us are quieter and better maintained with friendlier and better-behaved drivers.

“With high levels of frustration over the quality of road surfaces, the sheer volume of traffic and poor driving standards, it is little wonder that Brits appear to be enjoying their motoring experience abroad.”

In other findings, 21% of respondents admitted to having driven on the wrong side of the road while travelling in Europe. 12% said they have been stopped by a foreign police officer for a driving misdemeanour, while 6% said they have been caught speeding.

Rod Dennis said: “It is worth doing your homework when heading off to Europe in the car, to further reduce anxiety by checking out local motoring rules and speed limits to avoid falling foul of the law.

“And the fact that the UK is one of the only European countries where we drive on the left continues to sometimes confuse us when we cross the Channel.”



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    The article quotes that other European countries have friendlier and better-behaved drivers and that is my experience as well. Unfortunately, the general standards of driving in the UK are frequently poorer than other ‘mainstream’ European countries. We know from other walks of life that ideas and policies often don’t work the same when transferred to a different culture. So why do we keep importing unmodified continental European road safety ideas and policies when we have a different driver mindset to deal with? Shouldn’t we be making a much stronger effort to address the driving ‘negatives’ in our culture first? As a nation, we haven’t had anywhere near enough success in doing that so far.

    As regards congestion, the last time I drove in Milan the gridlock was as bad as I’ve ever had here in the UK.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (8) | Disagree (2)

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