AA/Populus Panel

Your views in the news

High fuel prices

AA President Edmund King During the course of several interviews on BBC Radio Four Today, BBC Five Live, Talk Sport, BBC News Channel and a host of regional stations, AA president, Edmund King has highlighted the fact than even by the beginning of May, 64% of AA respondents felt that the high cost of petrol and diesel meant that they had reduced the number of journeys, cut back on other expenditure or done both. This story was also covered in The Independent on Sunday, The Sunday Times, Scotland on Sunday, Evening Post, Western Daily Press and Daily Telegraph.

Due to your help with the Populus panel those figures have now been updated and by July, 77% of you were telling us that the high fuel prices had affected you and 55% of you said you were cutting back on journeys. This update was featured in the Daily Telegraph and was used in an interview for BBC 1 Panorama.

The second AA Populus survey on fuel prices was also featured in The Sun, The Times, Daily Mail , Daily Express, Daily Mirror , Daily Telegraph , Daily Star, The Independent, The Guardian, Financial Times, Autocar, Evening Standard, London Lite, Daily Record, The Herald , The Scotsman , Scotland on Sunday, Belfast Telegraph, and a host of local papers.

The second fuel survey received widespread broadcast coverage including BBC News Channel , Channel 5 News, BBC 2 Working Lunch, BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Show, BBC Radio 5 Live , BBC Radio 1, IRN, BBC Scotland, Meridian TV, ITV Thames Valley, BBC1 N Ireland, BBC Radio York, BBC Radio Wiltshire and many other stations.

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)

These results showed that 82% of you felt that Vehicle Excise Duty was being used as a "stealth tax". In particular members were opposed to the "retrospective" element of the proposed changes which will mean that many people owning cars purchased between 2001- 2006 will be hit with hefty tax increases. This story featured in the national and local press including The Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Daily Star, The People, Independent on Sunday, Press & Journal, Metro, and The Journal.

The story was also run on BBC Radio Five live, Channel 4 news, ITN and BBC Scotland. The AA president, Edmund King, wrote two blogs on the subject for the Guardian's "Comment is free" website.

AA Populus survey on environmental impact

The poll showing that AA members care about the environment featured in GMTV news, The Times, The Scotsman, Fleet News, Norwich Evening News, The Citizen (Gloucester), Hampshire Chronicle, Hull Daily Mail, and Yorkshire Post.

Drink drive limits

The AA Populus panel results outlining AA members calling for a lower drink drive limit made headlines in many papers including the Daily Mail, Manchester Evening News, Evening Times, Edinburgh Evening News, Northern Echo, Liverpool Daily Post, Eastern Daily Press, Western Morning News, and Hull Daily Mail.

Road pricing

The lack of trust in politicians to deliver a fair road pricing scheme also made the broadcast and print news including the Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman, The Journal and the Press & Journal. Other stories on young drivers, potholes and safer roads have also hit the headlines.

Love affair with the car

The surprising survey showing that 3% of male AA members would consider giving up their wife or partner rather than the car made headlines in the Daily Mirror, The Sun and on a host of BBC radio stations. The underlying message of the survey was that 79% of motorists can not imagine life without the car and 82% still enjoy driving. The AA used the survey to call upon local authorities to think about accommodating the car rather than just trying to restrict the car.

Going metric?

The survey showing that AA members did not yet want to see road signs or speed limits using metric measurements was reported on BBC Radio 5 Live, The Sun, Daily Telegraph and many other local outlets.

Ministers & MPs

Your views have also been raised with Ministers and MPs. The AA president discussed the findings on young drivers with Transport secretary, Ruth Kelly MP and sent details to the Road Safety Minister.

Figures on the effects of fuel prices have been used in meetings with Treasury ministers and in a letter to the Chancellor. We believe these figures helped influence the Chancellor to abandon the plans for a 2p per litre fuel duty increase in October.

The road safety findings were discussed recently with a group of senior police officers from across Scotland. The AA president has also written to the Chancellor expressing AA members' concerns regarding proposed changes to vehicle excise duty. A cross section of MPs has also been sent briefings on the results of the surveys.

As you can see your input on these important issues is having a great impact so please continue to help us by taking part in the monthly surveys. Already the AA Populus panel is the biggest dedicated motoring panel in the UK and with your help we intend to expand its influence and grow it further.


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12 August 2008