Freight and coach managers 'unsatisfied' with SRN performance

27/05/2022
Chris Ames

Just under half of freight and coach managers are satisfied with England’s strategic road network (SRN).

In its latest survey, watchdog Transport Focus asked nearly 1,400 freight and coach vehicle managers for their views on how the network meets their business needs.

A minority – 46% of businesses were satisfied with how these roads meet their business needs, while 25% were dissatisfied and 29% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.

Transport Focus also asked about the quality of information, response to accidents, road surface quality and rest facilities for drivers, with rest facilities and clean-up after accidents scoring lowest.

While the availability of live travel information was rated better than information for planning ahead, fewer than half of respondents said they were satisfied. Information about roads not opening on time after roadworks rated lower still.

When asked about aspects of National Highways’ day-to-day management of its network, road safety came out on top with over half – 57% – rating it positively.

Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith, said: ‘Freight and coach businesses, whose work is vital to our lives and the economy, have told us clearly that there is more to do to meet their needs.

‘We’ll continue our work with National Highways to keep these issues top of mind and get the improvements that these key users of England’s major roads want.’

Asked what they want to be done better, businesses said:

  • where possible, roadworks should be delivered in shorter lengths – if that isn’t possible they want a greater sense of pace to project delivery
  • clear and accurate information about planned road closures, including when roadworks are not going to finish on time
  • improved roadside facilities for lorries to stop, including facilities for drivers and protection against theft and vandalism.

The survey, which is carried out three times each year, covers businesses running lorries and coaches on the SRN. Lorry and coach drivers’ experiences are covered in Transport Focus’ Strategic Roads User Survey.

The watchdog is also carrying out research on lorry drivers’ experiences of roadside facilities, which it said will be released later this year

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