New research from Transport Focus has found that almost two thirds (65%) of car and van drivers say the maintenance of existing roads is more important than building new roads or adding lanes to existing ones.
The independent watchdog spoke to more than 5,600 drivers to understand their priorities for improvement to England’s major roads and found that the quality of road surfaces is their number one issue.
England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads have been described as poor by almost one-in-five car and van drivers, with potholes and cracks being the main concerns.
The report comes as National Highways (formerly Highways England) prepares its long-term plans for England’s strategic road network.
Chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, Anthony Smith, said: “Road users tell us they want to see England’s major roads improve with better roads surfaces and fewer potholes and cracks.
“It’s vital that National Highways focuses future investment on these priorities to ensure all road users have smoother, safer journeys.”
The safer design and upkeep of roads was road users’ second priority for improvement, followed by better management of roadworks.
Transport Focus carried out this research to help put road users’ interests at the heart of the third Road Investment Strategy.
The strategy will set out what the Government requires National Highways to deliver between 2025 and 2030. This includes building new roads, maintaining current ones and operating its network.
Road users’ top priorities for improvement:
Improved quality of road surfaces
Safer design and upkeep of roads
Better management of roadworks
Better management of unplanned delays such as accidents or breakdowns
Better information about unplanned disruptions (such as accidents)
Better behaved drivers
Better information about roadworks happening in future
Better lighting on the network
Reduced environmental impact of road travel
Better roadside facilities (service areas, laybys)