Less than half satisfied with roads

Two fifths of businesses that run coaches and lorries on England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads are satisfied with how those roads meet their business needs, according to a new survey from independent watchdog Transport Focus.

‘The Logistics and Coach Survey: Strategic Roads’ measured the satisfaction of heavy goods vehicle managers from 526 logistics and coach businesses. Almost one in three coach businesses were satisfied with road performance, compared to just over two in five logistics businesses. Three in ten companies overall were dissatisfied.

The rating was based on five key areas: planning information, clear up after accidents, roadside rest facilities, roadworks and the quality of the road surface.

Clear up after accidents and roadside rest stops were the lowest rated areas for logistics businesses. Consideration of drivers’ working hours when clearing up after accidents and the security and value for money of rest facilities were key causes of dissatisfaction. The availability of live travel information came out on top, particularly relating to the level of congestion on roads. Road safety also performed well across both sectors, with 65% overall rating it as good.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, said: “Logistics and coach businesses are some of the biggest users of England’s motorways and ‘A’ roads, so it’s important that we understand their experiences of using them.. This is an opportunity for those businesses to tell us what’s working, what’s not working, and crucially, where they want to see improvements.

“The new survey will help Highways England focus on better meeting the needs of an important group of its customers.”

Other key findings from the survey:

  • Both sectors said road surface causes significant wear and tear on their vehicles; 55% of coach businesses also said it has a significant impact on passenger comfort
  • 15% of businesses feel like they matter in Highways England’s medium to long-term plans
  • The management of short-term and long-term roadworks were both identified as areas for improvement
  • The survey will be carried out next in October 2020 and will be repeated every four months after that.
  • Logistics UK, the Road Haulage Association and the Confederation of Passenger Transport have all helped in the survey’s development.

The full report can be found here.

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