New Strategic Roads User Survey provides detailed picture of driver satisfaction

07 November 2018

A new survey by independent watchdog Transport Focus has found that 82 per cent of road users are satisfied with their last journey using a motorway or major ‘A’ road managed by Highways England.

Satisfaction with journey time is also 82 per cent, but road surface quality fares less well at 79 per cent.  The management of roadworks is lower – 65 per cent of those surveyed were satisfied and only half (51 per cent) were satisfied with this activity in the south east region.

Most drivers – 93 per cent – are satisfied with how safe they feel on Highways England’s roads. Information on permanent road signs scores well at 89 per cent satisfaction.  Information provided on electronic signage fares less well at 83 per cent.

Launching the Strategic Roads User Survey results for April to August 2018 at the Highways UK conference in Birmingham (Wednesday 7 November) Anthony Smith, Chief executive of independent watchdog Transport Focus said today:

Results from our new Strategic Roads User Survey offers the most significant and robust picture ever of driver satisfaction on the motorways and major ‘A’ roads maintained by Highways England.

“This new survey provides a detailed picture at regional and individual road level about the experience of all drivers, whether in cars, vans, lorries or coaches – as well as motorcyclists.  It makes it possible for those who manage specific roads to find out what users think on a range of key issues and identify where they need to prioritise improvements.”

“Every year this survey will gather insight from interviews with over 8000 road users across the motorway and major ‘A’ road network managed by Highways England. The results it generates will be displayed on a new digital platform, providing a wealth of data about customer satisfaction – at individual road, regional and national level – that anyone from a fleet manager to a leisure driver can access and explore using comparison tools that are easy to use.”

The results gathered through SRUS will be housed (and updated monthly) on a new Transport Focus Data Hub that goes live shortly after 11am on Wed 07 November 2018.   At the time of launch the Data Hub provides access to data from the first five months of the new SRUS and to data collected for the Transport Focus annual Bus Passenger Survey since 2014.  It is anticipated that data sets from other Transport Focus surveys (rail passengers, motorway service users and tram passengers) will be added during 2019. In time the hub will support the comparison of satisfaction data for one, some, or all modes of transport.

Which Highways England regions have the highest satisfaction rating among road users ?
Overall: SW and NE
Highest satisfaction with journey time: SW and NE
Highest satisfaction with road surface quality: NE and M25 region
Highest road works management:  NE and SW
Highest satisfaction with feeling safe:  East and NE


Road level figures (for roads with sufficient responses after five months of the survey operating)
Highest overall satisfaction with journey: M5 and A1 (lowest M1)
Highest satisfaction with journey time:  A1 and M5 (lowest M6)
Highest satisfaction with surface quality:  A1 (lowest M6)
Highest feeling of safety: M5 (lowest M25)

Notes for editors

The Strategic Roads User Survey and the Transport Focus Data Hub will be formally launched at 11.10 am Wed 07 November from the Burges Salmon Stage at Highways UK. Roads Minister Jesse Norman MP has confirmed that he will attend.

The Strategic Roads User Survey (SRUS) will run alongside the existing National Road Users’ Satisfaction Survey (NRUSS) until 2020.

SRUS has been designed to provide the official measure of satisfaction among users of the roads managed by Highways England from 2020-25 (the period of the Government’s second Road Investment Strategy).

SRUS employs improved methodology and a better questionnaire than NRUSS to provide more detailed insight into the experience of road users.

SRUS results cannot be directly compared to any from NRUSS.

SRUS data will be updated monthly and be available as ‘open data’ through the Transport Focus Data Hub where results can be ‘sliced’ in lots of ways at the touch of a button by anyone from a road engineer to an individual road user.

SRUS asks questions about a range of elements of the journey experience on a motorway or major ‘A’ road in England, including overall journey experience, journey time, surface quality, roadworks management, permanent and electronic information, and feelings of safety. Data can be viewed for specific roads or regions and be subject to comparison.

In line with the principles of ‘open data’ anyone who is interested – from insight professionals to transport users – can analyse data on the Transport Focus Data Hub to investigate issues of interest.

Since 2015, Transport Focus has represented the interests of those who use motorways and major ‘A’ roads in England – the Strategic Road Network, managed by Highways England on behalf of the government. The research done by Transport Focus among road users identifies the issues that matter most and helps those who build, maintain and run these roads to deliver positive changes for those who use them. It’s most recent research in this area was a national survey of logistics and coach company managers published on 1 November 2018.

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