A leading UK watchdog for road users and transport passengers has led the calls for improved real-time information on the nation’s motorways and busy ‘A’ roads.
Transport Focus believes that drivers should be made better aware of times when motorways and busy dual carriageways experience unexpected disruption.
The watchdog recently published a new study titled ‘Road information: the user perspective’, which revealed that domestic and commercial road users were satisfied on the whole with the data supplied across the network of Highways England.
However, they were less satisfied with the data offered on integral ‘A’ roads and motorways.
The general consensus was that the data supplied when unexpected disruption occurs on these roads was not timely or accurate enough.
Anthony Smith, chief executive, Transport Focus, said during the unveiling of the report: “This research confirms that people using motorways and major ‘A’ roads want better information – especially during unexpected delays – so they can make informed choices that put them more in control of their journeys.
“This study also underscores what we know from the Strategic Roads User Survey: that on the routes it manages Highways England needs to give road users more advanced warning about problems, whether caused by planned roadworks or unexpected delays or diversions.”
The report recommends that Highways England should look to review the frequency and content of the information it provides domestic and commercial road users on A roads, with motorways deemed to offer drivers better notice of unplanned issues.
It also states that Highways England should go to greater lengths to raise awareness of roads and motorways that are managed by the organisation.
The report also urges Highways England to decide whether or not it wishes to become a trusted supplier of “single source of the truth” information via third parties that will disseminate such data to road users on its behalf.
As a consequence of this enlightening report, Transport Focus is due to work alongside Highways England and the Office of Rail and Road to help implement the insights obtained from the study.
It is hoped that the report will soon foster improvements in the provision of day-to-day information to domestic and commercial drivers.