Road User Voice – June 2016 – Road user director’s editorial

14 June 2016

A bit of sunshine and warmer days of late will have had many people refining their holiday plans. England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads will feature in many of them, whether that’s for long journeys to different parts of the country, or shorter trips to airports and ferry terminals. However, unexpected disruption can easily occur and have a huge impact, as the accident on the M6 in February highlighted. We’re working with Highways England to understand the lessons that can be learnt from incidents such as this – and you can read our letter to it here.

During 2016/17 we’ll be focussing mainly in three key areas. First, testing, then launching the new Strategic Roads User Survey (SRUS). We’re currently finalising plans to begin piloting it in July. In the meantime we’re carrying out the existing National Road User Satisfaction Survey which SRUS will replace. Second, we’ll be helping Highways England focus on improving the management of disruption, whether as a result of planned roadworks or an unexpected incident. Third, we’ll be ensuring that road users’ views are at the heart of planning for the next road investment period, the five years from 2020. For a full round-up of what’s in the pipeline – check out our website here.

What else have we been doing? Well, we’ve been in Yorkshire with Highways England’s regional team and maintenance contractor to tell them about our latest work on behalf of users. We’ve also been in Birmingham to explore how we can help Highways England improve the quality of its road surfaces from a road user perspective. And we’ve started a review of existing published literature that looks at driver behaviour and attitudes, and how they relate to user experience and safety. Recently we’ve spoken and exhibited at Microlise’s Transport Conference in Coventry, and we’ve taken part in the Motability Roadshow at Silverstone – our chief executive spoke at this event.

Other issues. We’ve been looking at Dart Charge – the system that collects payment for crossing the River Thames at Dartford either via the tunnels or the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. We have some concerns and we’ve raised them with Highways England – you can see our letter and its reply here.

Guy Dangerfield
Road User Director


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