Foreign roads put the UK’s to shame, say drivers


An overwhelming majority of UK drivers think the roads they’ve driven on in other European countries put the UK’s potholed-plagued streets to shame, new RAC Europe research shows.

As many as 72% of drivers who have experience of driving abroad think the condition of roads – such as the number and severity of potholes – is worse in the UK than in other countries, with just 8% saying the UK fares better.

More than six-in-10 (62%) meanwhile say roadside litter is less of a problem abroad than it is this side of the Channel compared to the tiny 7% who think the UK roads are the cleanest.

In fact, of the 14 different aspects of roads and driving the RAC asked drivers to compare between the UK and other European countries, the UK comes out better on just one – the ease of understanding road signs, with 38% of drivers saying they find this more straightforward at home than abroad.

Nearly half (49%), however believe there is little or no difference and 13% say they find foreign road signs clearer.

On the issue of motorway driving speeds, around half (53%) of drivers said they see little difference in the number of people driving excessively fast whether they are at home or abroad, but a third (32%) still said the problem was less prevalent in other countries.

And while half (51%) said they can’t tell the difference between the standard of driving of UK drivers and their counterparts elsewhere in Europe, 28% still felt foreign motorists drive better – compared to a fifth (21%) who think UK motorists do.

Overall, four-in-10 drivers felt the experience of driving abroad is better abroad than it is in the UK, with only a quarter (24%) saying they prefer getting behind the wheel this side of the Channel.

RAC Europe spokesperson Rod Dennis: “We’ve said for years that given the amount drivers pay in tax, it’s verging on the ridiculous that they have to endure no end of potholes when driving at home.

“It’s clear from what drivers have told us they seem to forget all about potholes once they’ve left the UK, with unanimous agreement that foreign roads are simply better.

“But it’s not just the pothole crisis that beleaguers the UK.

“Drivers tells us there is far less roadside litter abroad, and the visibility of painted road markings and traffic congestion – both in urban areas and on motorways – are both much better elsewhere in Europe.”

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