Transport Focus: Roadside facilities must be improved

Highways Reporters

Research carried out by Transport Focus has shown that a number of road users' are dissatisfied with roadside facilities.

The independent watchdog for transport passengers and road users in the United Kingdom asked a wide variety of road users, including car, lorry and coach drivers, as well as motorcyclists and disabled people, for their views on roadside facilities.

They found that although car drivers are broadly satisfied with services on motorways, many are less happy with services on major ‘A’ roads.

Lorry drivers told Transport Focus that their needs are not being fully met by roadside facilities in England.

They are also struggling to find space to park at the locations and times they need to stop.

Transport Focus discovered that better roadside facilities, with more spaces for HGV vehicles, will make roads safer for all users. They state that this would help to ensure people don’t drive tired, don’t stop unnecessarily on the hard shoulder and don’t run out of fuel.

The new road user research, entitled ‘Take a break – Road users’ views about roadside facilities’ has been published today (26 July).

Guy Dangerfield, Transport Focus’s road user director, said: “This insight into road users’ views should help everyone focus on providing facilities that fully meet the needs of all road users.

“The struggle many lorry drivers face finding somewhere they feel safe and comfortable to stop is a key concern. Highways England, the freight industry, and national and local government should work more closely together to solve this.”

The research found that:

  • People’s needs are largely functional. They want to be able to use the toilet, buy a hot drink, sandwich and fuel. These needs are generally being met at motorway services, but concerns were raised about the cleanliness of toilets and the cost of fuel, food and drink.

  • In contrast to motorways, people aren’t confident that even their most basic needs will be met at services on Highways England’s ‘A’ roads. They talked about the inconsistent quality they found at these services.

Transport Focus will use this research to work with Highways England, government and services operators to address the issues highlighted.

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