Road User Survey Highlights Britain’s Worst Roads

busy UK motorway

Thanks to a new survey from Transport Focus, we now have a clearer picture than ever of the state of Britain’s roads according to the people that use them most.

Developed in accordance with the government’s Road Investment Strategy, the Strategic Roads User Survey spoke to over 8000 road users across the country. Drivers of all ages and in all types of vehicles were surveyed, with respondents being asked to rate satisfaction levels across five categories: overall, journey time, surface quality, roadworks management, and feeling safe.

On the whole, roads in England scored fairly highly. Overall satisfaction rates were recorded at 82%, with feelings of safety at 94%, and journey time and surface quality both at 81%. However, roadworks seem to be the biggest issue for Britain’s road users; satisfaction with roadworks management was just 65% across the country.

Image credit: Transport Focus

Local Roads

With depots in Ipswich, Hull, and Liverpool, we were — of course — most interested in the results for roads in our local areas.

Unsurprisingly, the infamous A12 fared poorly. Although overall satisfaction with the road was just higher than the national average, the A12 fell way below expectations on surface quality with a satisfaction score of only 61% in comparison to the national average of 81%.

Other East Anglia roads fared similarly, with both the A47 and A14 falling below par on road quality.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire roads scored impressively on overall satisfaction, with a rating of 88%. Journey time, surface quality, and roadworks management ratings were also well above the national average. The A1, A19, A64 all scored particularly highly on overall satisfaction and surface quality, especially compared to the roads down south.

Things were not so rosy in the North West, unfortunately. Overall satisfaction was just below average and satisfaction with roadworks management fell to a national low. The M6 has a low overall satisfaction rate of just 72%.

Road Quality and Haulage: How is the Industry Impacted?

This information is crucial to the haulage industry because road conditions have a huge impact on business.

Areas of poor surface quality cost haulage companies thousands in increased vehicle maintenance costs, as potholes and uneven roads cause damage to vehicles and equipment. Poorly managed roadworks also cause expensive delays to projects, with traffic and hold-ups making customer expectations difficult to manage.

Not only can this cost haulage companies in time and money, it can also cost customers. If project timelines cannot be met, haulage companies might find their customers looking elsewhere for a more reliable service.

The Strategic Roads User Survey is expected to inform the targets set for Highways England going forward, with frequent surveys designed to monitor the company’s progress. We will be keeping an eye on developments in East Anglia and the North West and look forward to surface and infrastructure improvements in these areas.