Devon County Council has been praised by local residents in a national survey on highways and transport.
Positive feedback from local residents has seen Devon County Council maintain its rank as the second best performing County Council of the 22 that participated in the 2012 National Highways and Transport Public Satisfaction Survey (NHT Survey). Devon has also maintained its overall year-on-year levels of satisfaction in spite of challenging financial circumstances.
The NHT Survey is the most comprehensive public satisfaction survey for highways and transport and Devon was one of 75 English and Welsh local Highways Authorities, including the 22 County Councils, that took part this year. The survey questions are based on the key themes of public transport, highway maintenance, tackling congestion, road safety, walking and cycling, and accessibility.
A new question in the survey this year related to the effectiveness of dealing with potholes and damaged roads, and Devon came out as the second best County Council for pothole repairs.
Devon was rated the best County Council for managing traffic congestion and roadworks, including efforts to reduce delays to traffic, the timely completion of roadworks, and efforts to minimise nuisance to residents.
Devon was also ranked the best County Council for satisfaction with the provision of cycle routes, cycle parking and cycle route signing and information. The county also performed well again on the condition of pavements, provision and maintenance of footways and public rights of way, being ranked second overall.
This year saw a significant increase in the satisfaction with Devon’s winter service provision (gritting/salting and snow clearance) and Devon is now the third best performing county council. The County Council also had the fourth highest score for overall satisfaction for road safety and was fifth overall for community transport.
However, the survey highlighted reduced levels of satisfaction with grass cutting and weed spraying, and the County Council is already looking to address the issue and is looking into the timing of when grass cutting is carried out.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “This survey again demonstrates that we are providing high quality highways and transport services and I’m pleased that is being recognised. The responses to this survey are valuable in helping us recognise what is important to people and where improvements can be made and we are already looking into areas where we can improve such as grass cutting.
“It is encouraging that we have been able to maintain high levels of overall satisfaction and that we are the best performing county council in a number of areas. This reflects the effort that the County Council is putting into developing its services while maintaining a focus on what local people value.”
The 2012 survey, organised by the National Highways and Transport Network and carried out by Ipsos MORI, took place in July. More than 1,600 completed questionnaires were received from Devon residents.