New survey reveals how logistics and coach companies rate England’s major roads

03 September 2020

Two fifths of businesses that run lorries and coaches 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 per cent 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.”

Chris Floyd, General Manager of Linehaul Resourcing and Development at DPD Group, added:

“This survey represents an important message from the logistics sector to Highways England. The events of 2020 have made it even more apparent than before that the bulk movement of goods and people are the strategic pillars of our economy.

“The management of the Strategic Road Network is crucial to UK economic recovery and growth, and in those aims the logistics industry needs to find Highways England open for business. As part of the industry that forms Highways England’s largest customer, I am grateful to Transport Focus for gathering and publishing this survey.”

Other key findings from the survey:

  • both sectors said road surface causes significant wear and tear on their vehicles; 55 per cent of coach businesses also said it has a significant impact on passenger comfort
  • 15 per cent 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
  • overall satisfaction was lower among managers of articulated lorries than it was for managers of rigid lorries.

The Logistics and Coach Survey: Strategic Roads will be one of the official measures used by the Office of Rail and Road to monitor Highways England’s performance in the second Road Period 2020-2025.

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.


Notes to editors

Download report: Transport Focus’s Logistics and Coach Survey: Strategic Roads.

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