Creating a resilient major road network for the North

In a report released earlier this year, Transport for the North – a partnership including elected and business leaders from Northern England alongside government and national transport bodies – looked at how the Northern road network could be improved in order to support economic growth.

In a report titled Initial Major Roads Report – Strategic Transport Plan Evidence Base, the authors state that the Strategic Road Network – motorways, for example – makes up just 2% of the road systems in this part of the UK, and so in order to boost economic progress, it’s the roads that lead from the motorways to the key developmental areas of the North that require the most attention.

Key strategic areas

The report says that the evidence it has gathered shows the four major economic areas that are affected by the major road network:

  • Ports and airports
  • NPIER (Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review)industry clusters
  • Important economic centres – including cities, towns, universities and enterprise zones
  • Areas of tourism

The major road networks to all of these key areas across Northern England need to be strong and reliable enough to enable economic growth and success.

The importance of journey time

One of the critical factors in supporting this success is reliable journey times. It is important that the road network is reliable, resilient and efficient, says the report, in order that people and goods can travel with an expectation of reasonable journey time and without hold-ups because the network is inadequate.

The report says that improving the road network and, by extension, journey reliability brings the following productivity benefits:

  • Attracting and retaining highly skilled workers to live and work in the North.
  • Opening up opportunities in the labour market by allowing longer distance commuting trips.
  • Providing sufficient capacity to meet long term demand, and to improve resilience and reliability across the network.
  • Supporting current investment, and attracting foreign direct investment.
  • Helping businesses to collaborate closely, and improve their access to their supply chain.
  • Reducing operating costs.
  • Enhancing the user experience.
  • Enhancing trading opportunities.
  • Enhancing the quality of life for all people living in the North.

You can read the full report here – and see how the road network needs to be improved in order to support plans for a growing, sustainable and successful Northern economy.

Journey time surveys from RDS

Improved journey times have a positive effect on a wide range of people – from commuters to freight companies and the businesses in the area. Anyone who uses the roads wants a simple, quick and reliable journey, whether travelling on public transport or using their own vehicle. Journey surveys help planners, developers and strategists to see where roads are currently inadequate, and provide a bench mark so that progress can be measured as roads are improved.

To find out how Road Data Services can help to plan and execute detailed journey surveys for your development or long-term roads strategy, contact us today.

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