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 Post subject: Transport Focus
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 19:19 
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Yesterday I attended the AGM of the Alliance of British Drivers at the Motor Heritage Centre at Gaydon in Warwickshire.

One of the guest speakers* was Phil Carey of Transport Focus, who gave a very interesting presentation. Transport Focus is an official body that originates from the Rail Users' Consultative Committees, but its remit has been progressively extended to incorporate bus and tram users, and, this year, also users of the strategic road network (in England only). Significantly, it's the first time that road users have been given an official voice to air their views on how well the road network meets their needs.

The road user aspect is relatively new, but their initial research is summarised in this document, which is well worth reading and shows road users expressing many of the concerns we have seen here. Amongst all classes of users, the main complaint was the poor quality of road surfaces.

They have come up with this matrix of road user types, based on experience and confidence:

Attachment:
srn_users.jpg
srn_users.jpg [ 33.05 KiB | Viewed 1210 times ]

I suspect many here would self-identify in the "Invincibles" category, but of course nobody's perfect.

Two significant points that were brought up in the meeting, and which he acknowledged are:

  1. The need for more public information about managed motorways, which are a new feature of the road network that most drivers have never been taught about.

  2. The desirability of extending the coverage to local authority roads, as most people have no idea who manages a particular road. Highways England generally take a fairly consistent and professional approach, and most of the real horrors are perpetrated by local highway authorities. He accepted this was a reasonable long-term objective, but said that they needed to learn to walk before trying to run.

* other guest speakers were Dan Nesbitt of Big Brother Watch, and Jill Seymour MEP, UKIP's transport spokesperson in the European Parliament.

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Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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 Post subject: Re: Transport Focus
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:55 
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Ach I was hoping to get to that ! Ooops !

The Highways Agency was to be privatised. This sounds like this chap is part of that new scheme.
Managed motorways are a terrible idea. Completely distracts from the road safety aspects at massive and pointless cost.

To maintain a motorway and ensure good quality road surfaces is expensive enough and excellent for road safety.

I don't see the point he was making between these two but perhaps I've missed something?

Of course there are people on all the driving scales of ability, knowledge and skill. The point being that a 'managed' motorway somehow adds to this ?
Most appear to create more 'density of traffic' and so thus increase accident likelihood, and reduce everyone down to the lowest common denominator. e.g reduce speed from 70 to 40 the other day for zero reason! Or 70 to 20 I've even seen that cause so many near misses it was unreal!

People can well manage changes but signs that inform and warn are good and I'd like to see more of those. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Transport Focus
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 15:09 
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SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
Ach I was hoping to get to that ! Ooops !

Yes, it was good, although the attendance was a bit disappointing. The last one I went to in 2011 suffered from a couple of very dull speakers in the after lunch session.

SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
The Highways Agency was to be privatised. This sounds like this chap is part of that new scheme.

It's been turned into Highways England, which is a government-owned company rather than a government agency. At the same time the remit of Transport Focus was extended to cover the strategic road network. I'm not cheerleading for it, but at least it does provide an official voice for road users which never existed before.

SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
Managed motorways are a terrible idea. Completely distracts from the road safety aspects at massive and pointless cost.

Agreed, but given that they exist, and more are planned, it would be desirable to educate road users about them, as they cause a lot of alarm and confusion. In a quick hands-up poll, nobody at the meeting put their hand up to say that thought they were a good idea.

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"Show me someone who says that they have never exceeded a speed limit, and I'll show you a liar, or a menace." (Austin Williams - Director, Transport Research Group)

Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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