Danger ahead: the real cost of poor road conditions

New Business Barometer research


New research shows that poorly maintained roads and a nationwide parking crisis are having a serious impact on both the wellbeing and the wallets of van drivers across the nation.

From spaces that are too small for even a car (reported by 56%) to inflexible parking bays (27%), a lack of spots near drop-off points (46%) and an increasing amount of ‘permit holder only’ areas (30%), the stress of parking is an issue that van drivers face on a daily basis. These difficulties often result in drivers facing fines – but 53% of respondents state they wouldn’t have been able to do their jobs without taking the hit. And the costs don’t end there. 28% of van drivers have reported that the roads they navigate every day are either in poor or very poor conditions. These circumstances don’t only affect the ability to work efficiently – they also cost drivers an average of £125 on repairs per quarter. That’s a total of over £1 Billion a year.

A crisis costing more than cash

With faster-paced delivery schedules and increasing demands on their time, owners and operators need to work efficiently to make the most of their time on the roads. But 45% of drivers claim that traffic has lost them over 4 hours the last month alone – and 31% believe that congestion is the biggest barrier to growth.

So perhaps it comes as no surprise that the state of our roads are impacting more than just the drivers’ wallets. Over a third (37%) of UK van drivers say that they regularly experience stress while at work. Anxiety (affecting 21% of drivers) and depression (15%) compound their problems, making difficult conditions almost unmanageable.

Will conditions improve?

The government is considering the ‘Parking (Code of Practice) Bill’, which could introduce a raft of changes to how parking fines are distributed. It could also extend the grace periods for drop-offs, a change which would greatly ease the pressure van drivers face when making deliveries.

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