Road User Voice – February 2016 – Update on our delays and disruption research

02 February 2016

We have commissioned new research to look specifically at delays and disruptions resulting from roadworks and unplanned incidents. During February and March, road users will be asked about their experiences and needs in these situations.

In the context of roadworks, we’ll explore topics such as roadside information, roadworks length, traffic management, speed limits and proximity of one set of works to another.

In terms of incidents causing disruption, we’ll look at road users’ information needs, including from Highways England’s large electronic ‘variable message’ signs, diversion routes and driver welfare. Clearly, road users don’t want to be held up at all – what we are looking to understand is what would ease the pain when there is a problem.

Transport Focus takes an evidence-based approach to consumer representation. The insight we gather informs our views and any improvements that we call for. In 2015 we published two key pieces of research about road users’ priorities – for car/van drivers and motorcyclists in July and for HGV drivers in December.

In both ‘better management of roadworks’ and ‘better management of unplanned delays such as accidents or breakdowns’ featured among road users’ higher priorities for improvement. It is clear that with increasing investment in the Strategic Road Network between now and 2020, and an expected increase in traffic, Highways England needs to better understand and act on road users’ concerns.

Once we have completed this research we will work with Highways England and its suppliers to make sure the findings and any recommendations are understood. More importantly, we will work with them to see that action is taken as a result to improve road users’ experiences in these circumstances.

Lee Rowbotham
Road User Manager

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