Public’s satisfaction with road condition is on the up

The public’s satisfaction with road condition is gradually improving, according to the results of the eighth annual National Highways & Transport (NHT) public satisfaction survey.

One hundred highways authorities took part in England and Scotland this year, the most since the survey began in 2008. Overall, the public’s satisfaction with road condition is up by 6.9% on average. However, coming from a very low level last year, it still leaves only 39.4% of the public satisfied with the condition of their roads locally albeit an increase of 5% from last year. Satisfaction levels with the speed of repair are up by 5.4% and the quality of repair to damaged roads and pavements show an increase of around 4.4%. There was a 12% reduction in the number of people who think there are more potholes than last year.

Twenty of the 26 key benchmark indicators (KBIs) used to assess performance, show a year on year improvement when results are compared across the 64 local authorities that took part in both 2014 and 2015.

‘Safer roads’ and ‘highway condition’ remain the most important issues for the public in 2015, while ‘highway condition’ still shows the largest gap between ‘importance’ and ‘satisfaction’, in spite of the improvement this year.

For the first time this year the public were asked to consider which services it was acceptable for the council to cut spending on and for which was it not acceptable. The results shows that ‘management and maintenance of roads’ and ‘management and maintenance of road drainage/gullies/drains’ are the aspects of service the public think most need to be kept at current levels of service, closely followed by ‘management and maintenance of pavements’ and ‘services to improve road safety’. The service the public considers could most readily be reduced is ‘management and maintenance of country paths and rights of way’.

Thirteen authorities joined the survey late and their results will not be known until January. The average response rate for this year’s survey was just over 22%. 67,465 members of the public responded to the NHT’s 12-page questionnaire on highway and transport issues this year, making it the most comprehensive survey of public views in this sector. To see the 2015 results for your council go to www.nhtsurvey.org.

For the first time this year a national survey was undertaken separately from the surveys being undertaken by each participating local authority and the results can be seen here: National Survey Results.

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