WJ | Industry-wide collaboration and innovation required to reduce road safety and maintenance concerns
Collaboration and innovation are key to improving the UK’s road network after a report launched by WJ Group identified several areas of concern for motorists on local road networks.
In a survey of 2,000 UK road users, 85% of all road users believe the quality of their local roads has deteriorated over the past five years following years of tightening budget constraints. Outlined in a report – The Journey to Safer Roads – local authorities need more support to keep on top of maintenance challenges, which have been further heightened by an industry skills gap.
WJ commissioned the survey to aid local authorities in their understanding of how constituents feel about their road network. Among the key findings, over half (52%) of drivers reported they were worried about being involved in an incident due to poor visibility of road markings when compared to two years ago.
The survey also revealed perceptions of whether improvement works took place after road incidents. For example, of those who had been in an incident due to the quality of the road, only 40% were able to confirm that remedial work had taken place to address the issue. Almost one third (30%) reported that their council had failed to make any improvements even when a fault in the road was identified as the cause.
While the survey focused on perceptions of UK drivers, the results show the extent to which local authorities across the country require support. Wayne Johnston, CEO of WJ Group, said: “Local authorities are under increasing pressure to meet expectations of their constituents while facing internal and budgeting challenges.
“Our survey findings have shone further light on the need to deliver improvement works, however, they should not face this challenge alone. The highways industry needs to come together to support authorities in their efforts to bring new solutions to the market that enable them to implement efficient maintenance schemes within budget and sustainability targets.”
The report provides a number of different solutions for local authorities to consider, and offers expert commentary from Paula Claytonsmith, Director, Government and Strategy, at the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG). She says that, while “many authorities are already trying to implement and have the best maintenance regimes on their roads with the resources they have”, there is a need to “work collaboratively to implement successful road maintenance.”
Wayne Johnston said: “Our report provides an overview of the attitudes of road users, but importantly, also outlines solutions and support for local authorities looking to potentially address them. From using our findings to adapt communication processes, to implementing sustainable and cost-effective maintenance procedures, we want to show our support to local authorities ahead of a challenging period.”
To download a copy of the report, please click here.