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What have we learned over the past three decades of motoring? Image by Ford.

What have we learned over the past three decades of motoring?
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It's easy to lose sight of how much the state of our roads change over the years, as very little changes day to day as we embark on our commutes. Luckily The RAC has given us the opportunity to take a look back over the last 30 years and reminisce on just how different the UK's road network looked back then with the creation of its "30 years of The Report on Motoring" interactive.

Safety

UK roads have always been some of the safest in the world, however back in 1988 most cars were still missing rudimentary safety features as this excerpt points out...

"When asked in 1988 what safety features motorists would particularly look for the next time they bought a car, 29% said rear seatbelts."

Whilst this seems surprising now, it wasn't actually made a requirement to wear a seatbelt whilst driving a vehicle until 1991, so riding in a car with no seatbelts was not that alarming nor even surprising!

Just one year later the UK's first speed camera was introduced on the A316 over Twickenham Bridge in Surrey. Whilst these cameras are still disliked by many motorists, one safety introduction that most drivers get behind was the ban of mobile phones being used behind the wheel. This ban was implemented in 2003.

Fuel and renewables

One of the starkest changes in motoring comes in the shape of fuel price increases. The average cost of one litre of petrol was 76.34p in October 2003 compared to 131.14p in October 2018.

In 2012, average fuel prices hit record highs of 142p per litre of unleaded and 148p for diesel. Ouch.

However, there is hope that soon these prices won't be such a problem due to the introduction of electric and hybrid vehicles on a more industrial scale.

In 2011 the Nissan Leaf became the UK's first mass-produced electric vehicle and just last year the Government confirmed that it will end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, as it unveiled new plans to tackle air pollution.

Introductions and goodbyes

Throughout the decades we've said hello to many incredible structures and cars, but have said goodbye to a few as well.

In 1994 the channel tunnel was opened, allowing drivers to easily access the continent in the comfort of their own car, and in 1996 the Second Severn Crossing was also opened.

The Land Rover Freelander was launched in 1997 and in 2000 we said goodbye to the original Mini as it was discontinued to make way for the first new generation of MINI Hatch models.

In 2001 Aston Martin launched the Vanquish, the first production Aston Martin that could hit 200mph! This year also saw the release of the Toyota Prius in the UK, the first commercial hybrid vehicle.

On a not so good note, the M6 toll was opened in 2003 and Lotus ended production of its Esprit model in 2004, made famous for its submarine transformation in James Bond's The Spy Who Loved Me.

The Tesla Model S was launched in the UK in 2014 ushering in a new era of electric cars whilst in the same year we said goodbye to the tax disc!

It's safe to say a lot has happened to our roads over 30 years. You can check out the full interactive for more details here.



Promoted by Bethany Taylor - 18 Dec 2018


45th anniversary of the Ford Transit. Image by Jamie Lipman.45th anniversary of the Ford Transit. Image by Jamie Lipman.45th anniversary of the Ford Transit. Image by Jamie Lipman.45th anniversary of the Ford Transit. Image by Jamie Lipman.45th anniversary of the Ford Transit. Image by Jamie Lipman.

45th anniversary of the Ford Transit. Image by Jamie Lipman.45th anniversary of the Ford Transit. Image by Jamie Lipman.45th anniversary of the Ford Transit. Image by Jamie Lipman.45th anniversary of the Ford Transit. Image by Ford.45th anniversary of the Ford Transit. Image by Ford.









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