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Road User Voice – August 2015 – Road user director’s editorial

21 August 2015

Users of the road network in Kent have had a torrid time in recent weeks with Operation Stack being used on numerous occasions. In this month’s Road User Voice you can read about what Transport Focus has been doing on this, but essentially we are working in three areas.

First, given that disruption to cross-channel ferry and rail links may unfortunately keep happening, we are pressing for a long-term solution to the problem of where to ‘hold’ lorries waiting for a crossing.

Second, we are researching the experiences of lorry drivers caught up in Operation Stack. Could things be done differently to improve their lot?

Third, we are shining a light on the information provision. Is the M20 open today or not? What’s the congestion like on the M2/A2? It doesn’t seem to be as easy as it might be to find out what’s happening at a given time. As always, we aim to be useful in helping Highways England and others deliver more for road users.

Away from Operation Stack, we have been continuing to increase our knowledge of the motorways and trunk roads in England and also to build our relationship with Highways England and other key stakeholders. Following on from our visit to the West Midlands in June, at the end of July our chief executive and I drove from Penzance to Basingstoke, taking the A303 from Exeter and passing by Stonehenge. We wanted to understand more about part of the Highways England network that is hugely important in the summer months as people escape to the west on holiday. Even mid-week it is clear that the volume of traffic isn’t compatible with sections of single carriageway road.

 

Transport Focus continues to build its capacity to represent road users alongside rail, bus, coach, and tram passengers. We have appointed two road user executives, both from within Transport Focus. I am delighted that Jordan Sargeant and Stuart Edwards will be joining the road user team on 1 September 2015.

Jordan Sargeant Stuart Edwards

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