And England’s least popular motorway is…

And England’s least popular motorway is…
The roadwork-riddled M20 has been crowned England’s worst motorway according to a survey.

The route between London and Dover proved to be the least popular major road in the country among 8,000 drivers in a recent poll.

Only 63% of motorists were satisfied with their last journey on the road, according to Transport Focus.

Reduced speed limits have been a common feature on the M20 for the past two years, as smart motorway works took place between July 2018 and March 2020.

The road was also home to a ‘Brexit barrier’ from March 2019 to January 2020, where three full-width lanes separated from the rest of the road ran for 15 miles between Maidstone and Ashford.

One survey respondent said: "Get the roadworks done – It's been 50mph for too long – must be two years possibly…"

The Strategic Roads User Survey ranks roads across a range of criteria including journey time, surface quality and feeling safe.

It’s the second year in a row that the M20 has been ranked last.

Management of roadworks across all motorways and major A roads, which is the responsibility of Highways England, scored a disappointing 68% satisfaction rate.

The M23 which connects Gatwick to London was given the second lowest satisfaction rating of 64%, while drivers rated the M11 between London and Cambridge, as England’s best motorway.

Some 92% of motorists were satisfied with their last journey on the road, with high scores for journey times and safety.

RankMotorwayOverall satisfaction
Source: Transport Focus


Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said:

"As drivers return to the roads it is vital that management of roadworks is looked at. With just 68% of drivers satisfied this is clearly an area for Highways England to keep focusing on.”

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

"It seems as if the M20 has had cones along almost its entire length in recent years because of all-lane running schemes, a new junction being built near Ashford and provision being made to turn carriageways into lorry parking in case of a no-deal Brexit and cross-Channel disruption.

"The irony is that the more money is spent trying to increase capacity on motorways, the greater the short-term congestion for drivers."

Speed limits through motorway roadworks could be eased to allow cars to travel to 60mph according to Highways England.

Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, said:

“[drivers] can only hope that all the years of works and reduced speed limits are worth it in terms of increased capacity. Worryingly though, drivers tell us they have serious concerns about how safe these motorways are.”

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