Better road surfaces and fixed potholes are top priority for motorists in England

Motorists in England want to see improvements to road quality and the upkeep of the road surface, according to a new survey.

The news comes as National Highways, recently rebranded from Highways England, prepares its long-term plans for the road network.

The survey of 5,600 drivers by independent watchdog Transport Focus found that almost one in five car or van drivers rated the quality of road surfaces on England’s motorways and major A roads as poor.

Roadwork stock
Roadworks in Cromwell Road, London by Transport for London staff. The orange plastic tubing is for housing traffic signal cabling.

Furthermore, almost two thirds placed more importance on maintaining existing roads than building new ones or adding lanes to existing highways.

Making road design and upkeep safer was the second priority, followed by the better management of roadworks.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Road users tell us they want to see England’s major roads improved with better road surfaces and fewer potholes and cracks.

“It’s vital that National Highways focuses future investment on these priorities to ensure all road users have smoother, safer journeys.”

Transport Focus also shared some of the comments received in response to the survey, with one person writing: “All they seem to do is patch it, say if there’s a pothole or a winter frost. Patch it up, and three weeks later it needs doing again.”

Other concerns raised by respondents included better management of unplanned delays such as accidents or breakdowns, as well as improved information about such incidents.

Last week, Highways England announced it was rebranding as National Highways, the second time it has changed its name in six years. At the same time, it revealed that Nick Harris has been appointed as the organisation’s new chief executive, having carried out the role on an interim basis since February.