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Traffic Delays in South East ‘Worst of All England Regions’

Published on: 14 Feb, 2021
Updated on: 16 Feb, 2021

Average road traffic delays in the South East increased in 2019-20 compared to 2015-16, the worst of all Highways England roads, shows data from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

The ORR also checked Yorkshire and the North East, North West, Midlands, East and South West.

And in Guildford borough and surrounding areas, already with heavily congested roads, deep public concerns are being expressed about the pending impact of even more traffic stemming from planned new housing developments.

ORR’s annual benchmarking report examined performance targets including user satisfaction, network availability, incident clearance, average traffic delay and road condition.

A3 traffic approaching Junction 10 of the M25

The South East’s traffic delay was 11.1 seconds per mile with the highest traffic density in 2019-20 before the pandemic. It was the only region with levels of delay above the Highways England average of 9.33 seconds per mile.

Highways England had a national user satisfaction score of 89%. The South East also showed 89%, with levels in 2019-20 similar to those in 2015-16.

The region kept 98% of the road network open to traffic and 89% of incidents were cleared within one hour, an increase of 4 percentage points (pp) on 2015-16.

Highways England also aims to keep 95% of its road surfaces in a good condition and in 2019-20 the South East achieved 97% (up 3 pp compared with 2015-16). They plan a specific programme of concrete renewals over the next five years, including maintenance such as fixing potholes, clearing litter, and inspections.

ORR will be requiring Highways England to provide better cost and spending data at regional level in respect of operations, maintenance, and renewals to provide greater transparency and help to better understand whether differences over time and between regions reflect more efficient delivery.

Graham Richards ORR

Graham Richards, ORR director of planning and performance, said: “Our benchmarking report paints a generally positive picture of Highways England’s regional performance over the past five years but it is also important to understand differences and variations across the country.

“Performance was mixed in the South East and lags other regions against some metrics. As more data becomes available our benchmarking and scrutiny of Highways England will evolve.

“Over the coming year, we also plan to broaden our work and look more specifically at road condition comparators, as this is important for road users.”

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test 2 Responses to Traffic Delays in South East ‘Worst of All England Regions’

  1. Valerie Thompson Reply

    February 15, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    And there will be a further 4000+ cars joining this queue coming out of the Three Farms Meadows (Wisley) site when, against all reason, advice and protest it gets approved.

    Added to this are the hundreds of cars that will be using the already crowded roads when the new sites planned for the Horsleys, Effingham, Gosden Hill Farm, Send and elsewhere are given the go-ahead. One of these sites, in West Horsley, has already generated 175 objection letters.

  2. Dave Middleton Reply

    February 16, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Hardly surprising that the south east of England has the worst delays, bearing in mind it’s the most densely populated region of the country, with an equally high volume of traffic and vehicle ownership.

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