Road users: What are we doing?
With a strong emphasis on evidence-based campaigning and research, Passenger Focus ensures that it knows what is happening on the ground. We are keen to quickly understand as much as we can about road users. We will start by carrying out research to understand the needs and experiences of Strategic Road Network (SRN) users.
Our first piece of work has already begun. The needs and experiences of road users, explores how different road users use the SRN and what their issues are. It will include focus groups and interviews with a range of road users including those travelling for personal and business purposes, as well as non-motorised users such as cyclists. We are planning to publish the results of this research in early 2015.
Our next piece of work is an independent analytical review of research relevant to road users’ satisfaction. The review will provide recommendations on how best to take research forward.
There are some challenges in surveying road users, particularly around getting feedback soon after they have used the SRN, and accurately identifying the roads they have travelled on, so the review will suggest ways to address them.
In spring 2015 we will also carry out research into road users’ priorities for improvement which we will publish later in the year. This work should provide a wealth of data which points to road users’ improvement priorities for years to come.
Talking to different groups of road users
We are developing an in-depth relationship with the Highways Agency. We are trying to understand how they work, the pressures on the business, their existing user and stakeholder engagement, how they intend to develop their new roles and how we can be useful in future.
Passenger Focus has also started talking to road-user groups to advise us on developing this work. These groups include:
We are also talking to a broader group of user and environmental groups including the Campaign for Better Transport, Living Streets and Sustrans.
Board road user advisors
Passenger Focus has appointed Geoff Dunning and David Leibling to act as temporary, part-time paid advisors to its Board. Geoff and David will help Passenger Focus prepare to take on its new role in representing road users.
They are joining our Board as we build our expertise as a consumer body in the roads’ world over the coming months. Their knowledge and contacts within the freight and motoring sectors are already proving invaluable in advising the Board.
Photos courtesy of the Highways Agency.