Listening to our customers
The Highways Agency has a world class reputation for the operation, maintenance and improvement of England’s motorways and trunk roads.
Understanding the needs of our customers is an integral part of the Agency’s operations. To help us achieve our vision we need help. We have a well established (2004) network of Customer Beacons, representing teams across the Agency. The beacons are in a good position to encourage teams who plan and develop services and deliver improvements to take account of what you, our customers, want. They draw on the feedback they receive from all road users, including freight; motorists; passengers; cyclists and other customers such as road neighbours and local communities. The feedback comes from many sources including correspondence; telephone calls to the Highways Agency Information Line (HAIL) and our regular surveys. The published feedback can be seen in the latest Customer Feedback Report covering quarter 1 2013–14 (160KB PDF).
We held a workshop in November 2012 which provided a networking opportunity for our customer beacons to share best practice and to discuss what you are telling us. These workshops have been annual events since 2004 and have proved invaluable in encouraging our teams to communicate effectively.
Feedback, including complaints and compliments, comes to us through many channels and since 2006 we have been carrying out a regular rolling programme of surveys Area Road Users’ Satisfaction Survey (ARUSS) in each of our 13 areas (seven regions). The questions cover the respondents’ general experiences and perceptions of the network within the area where they live. We use the results to gain understanding about what road users’ find important and this helps us to improve our services. The National Road Users’ Satisfaction Survey (NRUSS) tracks satisfaction with respondents’ last journey on the network. Please visit the Satisfaction Surveys page for the most recent results.
If you have any questions about either of these surveys we would be pleased to hear from you. Please email our Highways Agency Information Line (HAIL) email@example.com.
You tell us that you like…
- Motorways being clear of litter and debris
- Local exhibitions to explain proposals
- Comprehensive and appropriate responses to complaints and enquiries
- Sensitive management of roadside verges
- The fact the Agency work with stakeholders and residents to minimise disruption during road schemes
You tell us that you dislike …
- Missing connections for holidays due to unexpected delays on the network
- Overgrown verges restricting visiblity at junctions and obstructing signs
- Litter on the network and debris left on verges
- Potholes and poor road surfaces
- Trees being removed in association with improvement works
Here are some examples of what we have done over the summer to keep traffic moving:
The V Festival 2013
Around 180,000 people travelling in 70,000 vehicles descended on our road network to attend V Festival 2013. With the majority of people camping overnight, the concerts led to heavy traffic either side of and throughout the weekend. The A12 and A120 were much busier than usual, as were the M6, M54 and A5 in the Midlands. Heavy rain created flooding in one of the festival’s major car parks, putting our emergency team into action, diverting traffic to use alternative routes. A great deal of forward planning had gone into the event and our real success this year was on the M6, where queues on the hard shoulder never exceeded four miles and the reopening of the M6 northbound exit slip road at junction 12, which was closed at 4am, was three hours better than any previous V Festival. We used a combination of techniques to optimise the use of road capacity and promote the most efficient route.
M25 Superspan gantry installed on northern section
As part of our M25 managed motorways all lane running scheme on the Hertfordshire/Essex border we have completed overnight work to install gantries between junctions 23 and 25. The full carriageway closure took place overnight when we were able to minimise disruption to our customers. Traffic was diverted using nearby slip roads. These gantries will provide road users with valuable information that will reduce congestion. The work included the installation of the first of five ‘superspan gantries’ weighing 36 tonnes and measuring 40 metres across. The M25 junctions 23 — 27 scheme will be our first section of managed motorways all lane running to become operational, with the first section completing in January 2014. Public information exhibitions were held in October 2012 before main construction work began.