Going Dutch to tackle roadworks in England?
11 March 2016
Our own research tells us that road users want better management of roadworks. Given the expected increase of improvement schemes on England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads through the Government’s Road Investment Strategy it is important that Highways England take this on board and look at ways to increase road user confidence when travelling through roadworks.
We are also doing more detailed research in this area. Our delays and disruption research will be published in the next few months and will include road user experiences during planned roadworks. Once this is published we will let you know our findings and recommendations.
One interesting aspect of roadworks management has come to our attention courtesy of work going on in the Netherlands. ‘Minder Hinder’, translated as ‘reduced nuisance’ is a clear, seven point strategy to improve motorists’ frustration with roadworks and reduce economic impact due to loss of travel time. Everything from planning, construction, customer communication and traffic management to cooperation with local authorities are key pillars of this approach.
A really innovative aspect of this is ‘Spitsmijden’, which is a peak traffic avoidance experiment that encourages drivers to avoid key roads by using financial incentives – effectively paid not to drive on certain roads at peak times! Interesting stuff and an area we are keen to learn more about.
Later this month we will be speaking at an event on this subject and hope to come back with a better idea of whether this could work on our own motorways and major ‘A’ roads. We’ll keep you posted through this blog and our monthly Road User Voice newsletter.
Road users will be facing roadworks for some years to come, to increase capacity and to repair and maintain what we already have in place. However people still need to get to work and to visit friends and family. Our goods and services are transported via road and are vital for a healthy economy. We need better solutions on roadworks and we should look far and wide for inspiration.