Survey finds that most cyclists and pedestrians who use main roads in the East Midlands and North West report high levels of satisfaction, but there’s room for safety improvements to be made.
Detailed research by independent road user watchdog Transport Focus has measured, for the first time, the real impact of independent signage, unsuitable design, and poor maintenance on the experience of cyclists and pedestrians when they travel along, beside, or have to cross major A roads and motorways maintained by Highways England.
The findings, compiled in a report titled ‘Cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians: measuring satisfaction with journeys on Highways England’s network in the North West and East Midlands’, were published on 17 October 2018 by Transport Focus. The report presents initial findings of a new survey methodology that was first tested out in two regions to develop a quantitative measure of satisfaction among cyclists and pedestrians.
If funding permits, similar research will be carried out in other areas. Transport Focus will press for this new survey to become a ‘reported metric’ measuring the performance of Highways England from 2020, helping to improve the service it provides.

“users who feel safe report higher levels of overall satisfaction”

Launching the research, Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:
“Cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians deserve to feel safe on their journeys, so it should be no surprise there is a clear relationship between how safe these road users feel and how satisfied they are with travelling along, over or beside major roads and motorways.
“We have developed a clear measure of satisfaction among cyclists and pedestrians (alongside qualitative information about issues that affect them and equestrians).
“We are using the results of this research to press Highways England to upgrade roads to better meet the needs of these users. This should include more distance between them and fast-moving traffic as well as ensuring paths and crossing points have better surfaces and lighting.”
The report showed that while more than three quarters of cyclists and pedestrians in the areas surveyed are satisfied with the parts of their journeys made alongside, on or across the Highways England network of motorways and A roads, there’s room for improvement – especially regarding safety.
As you might expect, the survey found that users who feel safe report higher levels of overall satisfaction. Cyclists and pedestrians mentioned the need to ensure that dedicated paths on or alongside Highways England roads are provided, and that the quality of lighting on footpaths could be improved. The availability and suitability of road-level crossing points was also a key factor.
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