Pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders; new survey results drive improvements in paths and crossing facilities

17 October 2018

Detailed research by independent road user watchdog Transport Focus measures for the first time the real impact of inadequate signage, unsuitable design and poor maintenance on the experience of cyclists and pedestrians when they travel along, beside or have to cross major ‘A’ roads and motorways maintained by Highways England.

Launching the research, Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

“Cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians deserve to feel safe on their journeys, so it should be no surprise there is a clear relationship between how safe these road users feel and how satisfied they are with travelling along, over or beside major roads and motorways.

“We have developed a clear measure of satisfaction among cyclists and pedestrians (alongside qualitative information about issues that affect them and equestrians).

“We are using the results of this research to press Highways England to upgrade roads to better meet the needs of these users. This should include more distance between them and fast-moving traffic as well as ensuring paths and crossing points have better surfaces and lighting.”

  • More than three-quarters of cyclists and pedestrians in each of the areas covered by this research are satisfied with that part of their journey made on, alongside, or across the Highways England network of motorways and major ‘A’ roads.
  • Cyclists are significantly less likely than pedestrians to feel safe on the part of their journey that interacts with the Highways England network – due to the proximity and speed of the traffic that is nearby. For pedestrians, personal security along these routes is a particular concern – this group will notice when a location is secluded.

Transport Focus also hopes the evidence from this research in two regions will influence the way improvements are delivered in other areas of the Highways England network.

Notes for Editors

Cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians: measuring satisfaction with journeys on Highways England’s network in the North West and East Midlands is published today by Transport Focus.

The report presents the first findings of a new and innovative survey methodology that was first tested out in two regions to develop a quantitative measure of satisfaction among cyclists and pedestrians, supplemented by qualitative findings among these users and equestrians.

Transport Focus intends to carry out similar research in other areas of England as funding permits.

Transport Focus will also press for this new survey to become a ‘reported metric’ measuring the performance of Highways England from 2020.

For further information please contact:

Kieran Watkins
Telephone: 0300 123 0836 or e-mail:

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