Transport User Voice December 2023 – The voice of the road user

29 November 2023

Gathering insight and driving improvement

Our work to improve the experience of those using England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads – the routes managed by National Highways on behalf of the Government – is both extensive and varied.

Here’s a flavour of what we do…

It all starts with gathering user insight, whether from drivers of cars, vans or lorries, riders of motorbikes, bicycles or horses, or people on foot (obviously, some of these groups aren’t using motorways). We generate insight through various regular surveys gauging users’ views on aspects of their journey as well as ‘one off’ pieces of research.

The Strategic Roads User Survey, is one of our regular surveys involving a representative sample of over 8000 drivers annually. It is the official measure of how National Highways is doing when it comes to customer service. New data is published every month in our data hub giving a rich picture of current road user experience. In the last 12 months road users were satisfied with 71 per cent of journeys.

Many trips on National Highways roads require a stop – for fuel, food, the loo or to rest – the latter being crucial to road safety. In recent years, Transport Focus has helped drive the standard of roadside facilities through our Motorway Services User Survey (with the lowest scoring site now achieving 84 per cent satisfaction). Two new surveys, reporting in 2024, will do the same for specific groups of road users – the Lorry Driver Facilities Survey and the Electric Vehicle Charging Survey

We also gather the views of three other groups of road users. Businesses running lorries and coaches on motorways and major ‘A’ roads through our Logistics and Coach Survey. A key purpose of National Highways’ roads is for businesses to move goods around the country, for example from distribution hubs to shops or to/from our ports, so it is important to understand their views.

Our riders, walkers and wheelers research, currently focusing on sites in Devon and Cornwall, draws out what National Highways can do to improve the experience of cyclists, pedestrians and others who travel along or across its roads. And shortly we’ll be launching a new survey looking at the experience of those who use the Dartford Crossing, the only part of National Highways’ network involving an additional charge.

All this insight is designed for one purpose: to help National Highways, roadside facilities operators, Government and others understand road users’ experiences and so improve them over time.


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