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

22 June 2015

Transport Focus continues to develop its links with stakeholders, learn more about the Strategic Road Network (SRN) and deliver its 2015/16 work programme.

In early June we successfully launched our Road User Panel. This forum, which meets every couple of months, brings together a cross-section of road user groups, motorised and not, the Department for Transport, the Local Government Association, the Office of Rail and Road as ‘monitor’ and Highways England as operator of the SRN. The panel is part of Transport Focus’s commitment to understanding the priorities and aspirations of a wide range of bodies and groups interested in roads. The panel also provides an excellent opportunity for discussion and information sharing.

We have continued to learn more about the SRN. I travelled by coach from London to Cardiff and Cardiff to Birmingham getting to and from the recent Transport Focus Board meeting in Cardiff. As well as getting a feel for different parts of the SRN and its multiple users (my coach passed a tank on the M4!), coach travel allows us to take pictures and ask questions about maintenance. Making sure road signs aren’t obscured by vegetation is one area where we have challenged Highways England. And it’s not just the roads themselves. We were delighted to be shown round the new motorway services on the M5 at Gloucester before it opened.

A449 sign M50 sign

In this month’s Road User Voice we tell you about our 2015/16 work programme and ask for your views. We update you about research work currently underway and feedback on a successful knowledge-sharing event involving the Department for Transport, Highways England and Transport Focus. And we look further into road users’ views about roadworks, exploring findings in our road user needs and experiences research.

And coming up:

  • In the early hours of 26 June Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith and I will be visiting the site of resurfacing work on the M42 to understand more about what goes on overnight that many of us never see
  • On 6 July we mark the launch of Transport Focus at a Parliamentary reception hosted by Louise Ellman MP, chair of the House of Commons Transport Committee, with speakers to include Claire Perry MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport and our chair, Jeff Halliwell.
  • In mid-July we will publish the results of our first road user priorities for improvement research. This will give insight into the aspects of road user experience which car and van drivers, and motorcyclists, most wish to see improved.

Guy Dangerfield
Road user director 


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