Major roads like A12 and A14 improving - but drivers less happy with them

A14 near Ipswich

Highways England engineers are carrying out repairs to the A14 near Ipswich. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

East Anglia's busiest roads have improved over the last five years - even though people are less happy with them, a transport watchdog survey has showed.

Data published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) showed that user satisfaction fell slightly on East of England roads in 2019/20, even though the region achieved one of the highest overall levels of satisfaction across a five-year period.

ORR’s Benchmarking Highways England: 2020 Progress Report examined performance across the country against performance targets such as user satisfaction, network availability, incident clearance, average traffic delay and road condition.

Highways England aims to keep 95% of its road surfaces in a good condition and in 2019-20, the East region achieved 94%. However, the condition of the roads had increased by 4% compared to 2015-16.

ORR’s benchmarking shows that the East performed well in keeping 98% of the road network open to traffic and 88% of incidents were cleared within one hour.

It achieved a 5% increase on the incident clearance measure compared to 2015-16.

In Suffolk, Highways England is responsible for the A14, the A12 south of Ipswich, the A11 between Newmarket and Thetford and the A47 between Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.

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In Essex, it is responsible for the A12 and the A120 from Harwich to Stansted Airport and the M11.

The agency has come under fire over the last few months over the slow progress that has been made into carrying out work to install average speed cameras and new variable speed limits on the Orwell Bridge.

The work is designed to reduce the number of times when it has to close because of high winds.

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