Transport User Voice – November 2022 – What do roads users want?

26 October 2022

Looking at funding the next five years

What do road users want from journeys on motorways and major roads?

This month Transport Focus published its recommendations about what, from a road user perspective, the 2025-30 road investment strategy (RIS) for England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads should include.

The RIS sets out what Government will purchase from National Highways in relation to these roads in that five-year period. Providing advice about road user priorities as each RIS is developed is one of Transport Focus’s principal functions as the independent road user watchdog.

In 2021 we published the findings of our road user priorities for improvement research. This was designed to help early thinking about the RIS for 2025-30 (RIS3) within the Department for Transport (DfT), National Highways and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). Since then, using that and other insight, we have developed our user-focused recommendations about what should be included in RIS3. Our recommendations cover more than the interests of those driving/riding cars, vans, lorries and motorbikes. There are recommendations in the interests of people who – where permitted – use National Highways’ roads on foot, bicycle or horse and of businesses which rely on these major roads.

While the things we have included are all important, we’ve emphasised that those of greatest importance relate to:

  • the top three road user priorities for improvement – improved quality of road surfaces, safer design and upkeep of the network and better management of roadworks
  • increasing satisfaction with journey time which includes journey reliability.

The next stage of the RIS process is that National Highways will publish its strategic road network Initial Report. This sets out its view of what is required for the 2025-30 period. The DfT will then consult publicly on that before drawing up a draft RIS. The ORR will provide advice about efficiency before the RIS is finalised and published alongside National Highways’ Strategic Business Plan that sets out how it will deliver what DfT is buying.

As we continue to work with the Government, National Highways and the ORR during the development of RIS3, Transport Focus will be advocating for road users by drawing on what they themselves have told us.


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