The M40 has been rated the motorway with the best journey experience in England in a survey of drivers by the independent watchdog, Transport Focus.
In the latest Strategic Roads User Survey the motorway between London and Birmingham had the highest overall satisfaction at 79 per cent, with motorists particularly praising the road surface.
The M40 has been sprayed incrementally since 2008, with leading asphalt preservation solution, Rhinophalt® to help protect and preserve it, keeping the road surface in good condition for longer.
Rhinophalt® can double the asphalt surface course service life of a road for half the cost compared to resurfacing, therefore reducing the demand for reactive maintenance, with fewer potholes and less claims. It preserves, protects and extends the life of the asphalt infrastructure and is proven to withstand all extreme weather conditions. Rhinophalt®was developed by ASI Solutions over 25 years ago and the technology is based on using Gilsonite which is naturally hardened bitumen. As well as being used on all types of roads, including the M40 and more recently on the M25, Rhinophalt® has also been successfully applied to bridges, airports and test tracks around the world.
Dr Howard Robinson, Managing Director of ASI Solutions and Past CEO and Chair of the RSTA says “The entire length of the M40 has been treated three times since 2008 with Rhinophalt® delivering significant reductions in maintenance costs and removing the need for major resurfacing works and interventions. Rhinophalt® effectively behaves like a super strong bituminous resin which penetrates deeply into the asphalt surface course and holds the condition for typically 5 years before re-treatment becomes necessary. The technology has been used around the world for over 25 years providing asset managers with a proven solution for extending asset life whilst also offering the lowest carbon footprint surface treatment .”
The watchdog spoke to more than 5,000 road users about their last journey on a motorway or major ‘A’ road managed by National Highways.
Drivers were least satisfied with the A1 at 57 per cent.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads are its arteries, allowing people and goods to be moved around efficiently. These results show that what drivers experience varies from road to road, with journey time and how busy it is being key to journey satisfaction.
“As the summer getaway begins, this survey shows the importance of National Highways striving to minimise hold ups and providing good information so drivers know what to expect if it will be busy.
“And it points to the ongoing need to focus on delivering roadworks with the least disruption possible, as well as keeping road surfaces in good condition.”
- overall 69 per cent of road users were satisfied with their last journey using a motorway or major ‘A’ road managed by National Highways
- drivers rated the M40 between London and Birmingham the motorway with the best journey experience at 79 per cent
- the ‘A’ road with the best journey experience was the A14 between Felixstowe and the Midlands – 78 per cent
- road users were least satisfied with journeys on the A1 (57 per cent) and out of the motorways the M6 has the lowest level of satisfaction (59 per cent)
- 67 per cent of road users were satisfied with the time their journey took
- the management of roadworks is the lowest performing area, just 48 per cent of those surveyed were satisfied.
Highest ranked roads – what users have said:
Commenting on the M40 one driver said: “It’s the quietest and easiest motorway I use”. Another said: “M40 a nice wide motorway with rarely too much traffic problems.”
Road users praised the new section of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon saying, “nice new road, smooth, no potholes, fast, easy traffic.”
Lowest ranked roads – what user say
One driver said the A1 has: “far too many road works without any work taking place”, while another said: “traffic very, very slow moving. As always at this time on any weekday”.
On the M6 many road users commented on not feeling safe on smart motorway sections and the long stretches of reduced speed limit due to roadworks. One driver said: “the amount of roadworks and lane closures with ZERO work activity is beyond sense”. Another said: “the inside lane of the M6 (in both directions) are rutted”.
The Strategic Roads User Survey focuses National Highways on initiatives that will improve the driver experience. The survey is named in the Government’s second Road Investment Strategy and it is expected to be used from April 2023 as part of holding National Highways’ to account for delivering good customer experience.