What is happening?
In 2014 the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that Passenger Focus would widen its role, from representing passengers to representing all those who use the motorways and certain A roads in England (the Strategic Road Network*). This would include motorists, freight and business users, as well as those who walk or cycle on the network.
In order to reflect the added responsibility, Passenger Focus will change its name to Transport Focus.
Transport Focus will use the names Transport Focus – passengers where the work concentrates on rail, bus, coach and tram passengers and Transport Focus – road users for work on our new role.
The Infrastructure Act gained Royal Assent in February 2015 and the change takes place in March 2015. The Highways Agency becomes a Government-owned company called Highways England. It will be monitored by a unit that will sit within the existing Office of Rail Regulation. This monitoring will be separate from Transport Focus’s role as the road user watchdog.
* The Strategic Road Network (SRN) in England is around 4,300 miles long and is made up of motorways and trunk roads, the most significant ‘A’ roads. All other UK roads are managed by local and regional authorities. The Highways Agency network represents around two per cent of all roads in England by length, but it carries a third of all traffic by mileage. Two thirds of all heavy goods vehicle mileage in England is undertaken on the SRN.
If you have something to say about a road which isn’t part of the SRN (see this map), you can find out which local authority is responsible for it by using Directgov’s ‘Find your local authority’ search tool (if the search finds more than one local authority, it is usually the bigger, county-level authority that is responsible for local roads).
Next: What are we doing?