Research by Transport Focus measured experiences of cyclists and pedestrians on major A-roads and motorways maintained by Highways England

More than three quarters of cyclists and pedestrians are satisfied with their experiences of motorways and A-roads, a new survey has found.

The research was carried out by independent road user watchdog Transport Focus and covered the North West and East Midlands.

It measured the impact of inadequate signage, unsuitable design and poor maintenance on the experiences of cyclists and pedestrians when they travel along, beside or have to cross major A-roads and motorways maintained by Highways England.

In the East Midlands, 78 per cent of cyclists and 76 per cent of pedestrians said they were satisfied, as did 79 per cent of cyclists and 77 per cent of pedestrians in the North West.

For cyclists in each of the areas, visibility on the road ahead, signage for drivers (to warn them that cyclists may be present), and the ease and directness of road crossing points were rated more highly than other aspects.

Conversely, these users rated signage for cyclists, the availability of a path, and the ease of getting onto this path if provided, less well.

However, cyclists said they felt less safe on the road than pedestrians, which was generally due to the proximity and speed of the traffic nearby.

In terms of improvement, just 20 per cent of respondents in the East Midlands and 12 per cent in the North West indicated that there was nothing that needed improving.

Suggestions for improvements indicated a preference for better or more cycle lanes, better or more lighting along the routes, more road crossing points in the East Midlands, and an improvement in road surfaces in the North West.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of 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.”

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