The verdict is out on the UK road network
A recent survey by Transport Focus has measured the satisfaction of HGV managers from 526 logistics and coach businesses on the country’s motorways and A-roads, with more than a third stating they were unhappy overall.
It found two fifths of businesses that run lorries and coaches on England’s motorways and major A-roads are satisfied with how those roads meet their business needs, but three in ten companies overall were dissatisfied with road performance.
The rating was based on five key areas: planning information, accident clear-up, roadside rest facilities, roadworks and the quality of the road surface, with Transport Focus saying that clear up after accidents and roadside rest stops were the lowest rated areas for logistics businesses.
Consideration of drivers’ working hours when clearing up after accidents as well as the security and value for money of rest facilities were highlighted as key causes of dissatisfaction.
Chris Floyd of DPD Group said: “This survey represents an important message from the logistics sector to Highways England. The events of 2020 have made it even more apparent than before that the bulk movement of goods and people are the strategic pillars of our economy. Highways England set up a steering group this year to gain insight into the freight industry’s needs. Members include the RHA, Eddie Stobart, Royal Mail, DPD and Logistics UK."
Chris Yarsley, Logistics UK policy manager, said he was “unsurprised” that so many businesses were unhappy with the state of the roads and added: “Communication from Highways England and roadside rest facilities, in particular, are ongoing issues our members need to see improved within the coming years. We urge Highways England to listen carefully to the concerns of businesses shared in the report; effective road networks and robust transport connections are vital to helping business return to pre-Covid-19 levels of activity and enhancing the UK’s competitiveness.”
A spokeswoman for Highways England said: “We know motorways and major A-roads in England are vital to the logistics and coach sector and any research that helps us further support those who rely heavily on our roads is welcome.”