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Roads to the future

16 February 2018

What should the Strategic Road Network look like from 2020?

Transport Focus is putting users at the heart of plans for the future of England’s roads.

Highways England, the body responsible for managing the SRN – 4300 miles of motorways and the most significant ‘A’ roads – has put forward its proposals for the government’s ‘Road Investment Strategy’ for 2020-2025. These are set out in its SRN ‘initial report’, a key milestone in getting from ideas to tarmac.

To help make sure the investment is targeted at what users really want, we talked to them. This included car and HGV drivers, motorcyclists and regular cyclists, and even horse-riders and pedestrians. We set out their ambitions in our report Road users’ priorities for the Road Investment Strategy 2020-25.

Our official response to this can be seen here. We welcome the focus on maintaining and renewing the existing network, as well as expanding it where necessary.

Although broadly supportive of the proposals, we felt that they are less strong regarding specifics to improve safety, including:
• how Highways England can work with others to encourage ‘better behaved drivers’
• how the company will seek to understand and embrace the needs of its customers in the freight logistics and coach/bus industries
• how the company will relentlessly seek to drive down the causes of delay, whether within its direct control or not.

We wanted more detail in the section on customer service ambition, and felt it was unclear what Highways England’s vision is for its roads when it comes to cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians.

The government will now consider all the responses to its consultation on the SRN initial report, before developing the Road Investment Strategy.

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