Improving England’s ‘terrible’ road surfaces should be top priority, drivers say

Improving England’s ‘terrible’ road surfaces should be top priority for National Highways, say motorists

  • Independent watchdog Transport Focus spoke to more than 5,600 drivers
  • Participants were surveyed about their top priorities for road improvement
  • Safer road design and maintenance was road users’ second priority

Drivers say better road surfaces should be the top priority when it comes to road improvements in England, a new study finds.

As National Highways (formerly Highways England) prepares its long-term plans, independent watchdog Transport Focus surveyed 5,600 drivers to understand their top priorities for major road improvements.

Nearly one in five car and van drivers rated the quality of road surfaces on A-roads and highways across the country as poor, with potholes and cracks being the main concern.

UK drivers say better road surfaces should be top priority when it comes to road improvements, new study has found

UK drivers say better road surfaces should be top priority when it comes to road improvements, new study has found

When asked for a solution, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed gave more importance to the maintenance of existing roads than to building new roads or adding lanes to existing roads.

One respondent said: ‘All they seem to do is fix it, for example if there is a pothole or if there is winter frost. Patch it, and three weeks later it has to be done again.’

Meanwhile, another driver described the country’s roads as “terrible” and urged authorities to “at least fill in the potholes” and “when possible do the work at night to make it safer.”

Safer road design and maintenance was the road users’ second priority for improvement, followed by better roadwork management.

Other priorities to get into the top ten were better management of unplanned delays such as accidents or breakdowns, better information about unplanned disruptions (such as accidents) and better trained drivers.

They also want better information about road works in the future, better lighting on the network, less environmental impact of road traffic and better facilities along the road, such as service areas and roads.

Nicholas Lyes, RAC's head of road policy, encouraged National Highways to review its maintenance procedures in light of the findings

Nicholas Lyes, RAC's head of road policy, encouraged National Highways to review its maintenance procedures in light of the findings

Nicholas Lyes, RAC’s head of road policy, encouraged National Highways to review its maintenance procedures in light of the findings

Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: ‘Road users tell us they want to improve England’s main roads with better roads and fewer potholes and cracks.

“It is vital that National Highways focus future investments on these priorities to ensure smoother and safer travel for all road users.”

Nicholas Lyes, head of road policy at auto insurance company RAC, encouraged National Highways to review its maintenance procedures in light of the findings.

He added: ‘The Transport Focus study reflects the findings of the RAC, which show the need to improve the quality and maintenance of roads.

“While motorways and dual carriageways often outperform local roads in terms of road surface quality, the volume and nature of traffic using motorways in particular often require special attention to ensure they are of a high standard. to be.

‘After all, no one wants to hit a pothole at high speed with the potentially terrifying consequences that this entails.’

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