Motorists have had their say on which are the best and worst motorways and A-roads in the country – and it’s the M40 that has come out on top.
A watchdog polled more than 5,000 road users about their driving experience on major routes in England, with the worst-rated of all being the longest of all.
The A1, which spans 396 miles and links London and Edinburgh, was slammed by users for having ‘far too many road works without any work taking place’ and ‘very, very slow-moving traffic’.
The best and worst motorways and A-roads in England have been revealed: Watchdog Transport Focus conducted a poll of more than 5,000 motorists to discover which major route scored worst for driver satisfaction. The M40 came out top while the A1 was ranked lowest. This graphic plots the three best and three worst
The Strategic Roads User Survey is an annual poll conducted by independent group, Transport Focus and in 2022 has been topped by the M40.
The motorway between London and Birmingham had the highest overall satisfaction score of 79 per cent, beating every other route managed by the Government’s National Highways – public roads, which are the responsibility of local authorities, are not included in the poll.
That score was higher than the overall average of 69 per cent – the rating generally given by motorists for how satisfied they were with their last motorway or major A road journey.
The study asks drivers to rate across a number of categories, including their overall satisfaction as well as scores for journey time, how well road works are managed and completed, the quality of the road surface, how safe they feel, signage and the standard of information relayed to them on the move by electronic signs – usually overhead gantries on smart motorways.
Satisfaction with journey time (67 per cent) continues to be at a similar level to overall satisfaction, said the watchdog.
Management of roadworks continues to be the biggest headache for drivers, scoring the lowest satisfaction average of 48 per cent.
England’s motorways and A-roads in order of best to worst based on driver satisfaction
1. M40 – 79%
=2. A14 – 78%
=2. A3 – 78%
=4. M3 – 76%
=4. A30 – 76%
6. A38 – 75%
7. M5 – 74%
8. A1(M) – 73%
9. M62 – 70%
=10. M1 – 68%
=10. M25 – 68%
=12. A34 – 67%
=12. A46 – 67%
14. M4 – 65%
=15. M60 – 64%
=15. M42 – 64%
17. M27 – 62%
18. A27 – 61%
19. M6 – 59%
20. A12 – 58%
21. A1 – 57%
Source: Transport Focus survey of 5,246 road users
Management of roadworks continues to be one the biggest bug bears for drivers, with road users giving an average score of 48% across the entire network of motorways in England
Motorists also still appear to be uncomfortable relying on electronic signage, with this scoring a 68% rating based on the feedback from 5,246 people
And motorists also still appear to be uncomfortable relying on electronic signage, with this scoring a 68 per cent satisfaction rating based on the feedback from 5,246 people.
Making the M40 the champion in the motorways league table was not just its highest overall satisfaction score but the standard of the road surface – a more-than-respectable 80 per cent.
One driver responded to the poll saying: ‘It’s the quietest and easiest motorway I use.’ Another added: ‘M40 a nice wide motorway with rarely too much traffic problems.’
The average satisfaction score for motorways and A-roads in England is 68%. The top-rated route – the M40 – ran over that figure, receiving a 79% overall rating
Making the M40 the champion in the motorways league table was not just its highest overall satisfaction score but the standard of the road surface – a more-than-respectable 80%
Joint second in the list was the A14 and the A3 with an overall score of 78 per cent.
Road users praised the new section of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon saying it a ‘nice new road, smooth, no potholes, fast, easy traffic’.
Drivers were least satisfied with the non-motorway sections of the A1, which scored a lowly 57 per cent.
One driver said the A1 has ‘far too many road works without any work taking place’, while another added: ‘traffic very, very slow moving. As always at this time on any weekday.’
The A1(M) motorway parts, however, were rated at 73 per cent, which is above average.
Also at the foot of the table was the A12 (58 per cent) which also scored lowest for surface quality (41 per cent) and feeling safe (68 per cent).
Bottom of the charts was the non-motorway section of the A1, which received the lowest satisfaction score of 57%
Too many contraflows and slower speed limits for road maintenance was the biggest critique of the A1 from drivers, with one survey respondent saying it has ‘far too many road works without any work taking place’
Out of the motorways, the M6 has the lowest level of satisfaction (59 per cent).
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 closers with ZERO work activity is beyond sense’, while a fellow motorists commented: ‘The inside lane of the M6 (in both directions) are rutted’.
The results also show variation between National Highways’ regions – the South West region scores highest with 72 per cent overall satisfaction, followed closely by the East with 71 per cent. The Midlands region scores the lowest with 67 per cent.
Commenting on the findings of the study, Anthony Smith, chief executive of 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.’
The best A-road in this year’s results was the A14 between Felixstowe and the Midlands, receiving a 78 per cent overall satisfaction score from drivers.
CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST
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M40 named the best motorway in England while the A1 is rated worst Source link M40 named the best motorway in England while the A1 is rated worst