With experts predicting more than 20 million drivers will hit the roads this Easter, Britain’s highways are at crisis point for van owners and operators.
Congestion is the third biggest perceived barrier to future business growth according to 30% of van owners and operators, not least with traffic set to increase this weekend.
The research from the Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer also shows that urban parking battles are now a daily reality for businesses delivering vital goods and services to our towns and cities.
When asked how often they have to break parking laws and regulations in order to simply do their job, such double parking, red zones, parking on pavements, blocking entrances etc, 42% of delivery drivers admitted they now have to do this ‘always/often’ – rising to 55% of London delivery drivers and 52% in the East Midlands – just to do their job.
Almost nine out of ten delivery drivers say that flouting parking laws and regulations in our crowded towns and cities is something they simply have to do in order to do their job.
It’s also getting worse rather than better with 55% of the independent sample of 2,000 van drivers, owners, operators and fleet managers – including tradespeople and service engineers to delivery drivers and entrepreneurs – thinking that parking provision in towns/cities has got worse in the past year, with only one in five thinking it’s improved.
To further exacerbate the issue, new figures, released this month from the Department for Transport show that 10% of the road network maintained by local authorities in Great Britain is now in a poor condition or requires further inspection – equivalent to nearly 23,000 miles.
Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd, said: “With traffic volumes set to soar today – from leisure travellers getting away through to businesses and retailers delivering vital goods – Easter 2018 will prove a huge test for Britain’s ailing road network.
“The extra pressures Easter will put on the road network and the longer term issues making our journeys a struggle, while inconvenient for most, are actually costing van owners and operators time, effort and money.
“Congestion and parking are constantly highlighted as an issue by this vital business sector within our Business Barometer reviews, so it is clearly a hot topic and one which the local authorities, Department for Transport and Transport Minister needs to be aware of and ultimately take action on.”