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Queen's Speech: RAC reaction to announcements that will affect drivers

News   •   Jun 21, 2017 14:04 BST

Reacting to announcements made as part of today's Queen's Speech at the Houses of Parliament, RAC chief engineer David Bizley said:

“While more electric vehicle charging points are welcome, the proposals are rather unambitious and do not include plans for more charging points in places where, arguably, motorists would benefit most from them – the car parks of major shopping centres and supermarkets. Future legislation should include compelling private parking operators and perhaps also major property developers to install charging points.

“Charging technology that is introduced also needs to be of the type that actively encourages a generation of drivers to get behind the wheel of an electric car – so this means installing the most rapid charging technology that plug-in vehicles can accept. After all, no one would accept a dial-up internet connection in this age of fibre optic broadband, and drivers should not have to wait for many hours in order to be on their way again. It is also important that a minimum charger standard is established and there are moves to simplify the plethora of different and sometimes confusing charging options for consumers.

“We are disappointed that plans to tackle the unfair practices of private parking operators do not appear to be included – better regulation is needed in this sector to make sure motorists’ interests are protected.”

RAC insurance director Mark Godfrey added:

“With car insurance prices at an all-time high due to recent Government Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) increases and changes they have made to the Ogden discount rate, we’re pleased to see that proposals to cut down on bogus whiplash claims, which have been one of the causes of recent rises in motor insurance premiums, have been included within the Queen’s Speech. We need tough action on this to protect the vast majority of honest drivers, and now look forward to seeing all insurers pass on the savings directly to drivers as soon as this this comes into law.

“It’s worth remembering that the savings from tackling bogus whiplash claims are all but wiped out following changes to the Ogden discount rates. The recent changes the Government made to this has cost insurers £3.5bn so therefore alongside this legislation to tackle whiplash claims, it is vital the Government takes into account concern from the insurance sector when it responds to and takes forward proposals following the recent consultation.

“Strengthening of the regulation of claims management companies is also to be welcomed but we need to see the detail to assess if it will be effective to curb the aggressive contact strategies we see today.”