Motorway surface priorities set out

November 8 2017  

Motorway surface priorities set out
Highways England has been urged to make it easier for motorists to report surface defects on the strategic network.
 
Independent watchdog Transport Focus today publishes details of what it says drivers want from motorway and major A road surfaces, following a piece of research conducted alongside Highways England.
 
It reveals that motorists want surfaces without dips, bumps and potholes, and with clearer white lines and cats eyes. They also want to be told about any known problems and the date by which repairs will be carried out. Where there is a safety impact, they expect permanent repairs to be done as quickly as possible.
 
This latest research comes after a study of 2000 road users by Transport Focus found better road surface quality to be users’ top priority for improvement on the strategic network.
 
“Drivers tell us they want to make safe journeys on roads that are continuously smooth, less noisy, with fewer potholes and clear, helpful road markings,” said the watchdog’s chief executive Anthony Smith.
 
“Highways England now needs to meet drivers’ expectations of major roads, not just deliver minimum standards. When planning to build, maintain or resurface roads, the first question should always be: What do users want?”
 
Transport Focus also calls for Highways England to make it easier for motorists to report defects and for the Department for Transport to establish a dedicated ‘renewals backlog’ fund. It urges the development of construction and maintenance standards that will deliver the quality of surface road users expect from major roads.
 
Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan commented: “This report will help us to understand our users’ requirements more clearly and we will consider the findings and recommendations to help inform our current work and the next period of investment in our network.”
 
♦ Dangers of using a mobile phone while driving are being emphasised by Highways England after it released footage showing a lorry driver checking his phone on the motorway, while his foot was on the dashboard.
 
The footage was caught from an unmarked HGV cab which has been used over the past two years to film unsafe driving behaviour on the strategic network. Those caught are then pulled over by police cars following behind. 
 
More than 4000 dangerous drivers have now been recorded since the launch of the scheme in 2015, with 28 police forces having taken part in the initiative.
 
To view the video footage click here
 
(Photo: Highways England)

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