Drivers have rated the M5 the best motorway in England for 2023 – and the A303 the best road.
The accolades come from a new satisfaction survey of motorways and major roads by independent watchdog Transport Focus, with the M40 – which links London and Birmingham – ranked the No.2 motorway and the A30, which runs from London to Land’s End, the second-best road.
The M6 is declared England’s worst motorway and the A27 comes bottom of the entire list, with an overall satisfaction score of 59 per cent.
The study quizzed more than 9,000 users about their last journey on a motorway or major ‘A’ road managed by National Highways, with those polled asked to rate their journey times, the management of roadworks, surface quality, how safe they felt, the quality of the permanent signage and the electronic signs.
The top-rated M5, which connects the Midlands with the South West, has an overall satisfaction score of 82 per cent, thanks to road users being satisfied with their journey time, the traffic flow and the road not being too busy during their journey, Transport Focus said.
Drivers have rated the M5, above, the best motorway in England for 2023
One driver said of the M5: ‘Clear road, and signage was clear for roadworks that were taking place.’
Commenting on the silver-medal-winning M40, one driver said: ‘Traffic not too heavy, road in good condition.’
The A303, which runs from Basingstoke in Hampshire and takes drivers past Stonehenge and on to Honiton in Devon, receives an overall satisfaction score of 85 per cent, the highest in the table.
One driver said: ‘Great road. Not much traffic. Beautiful scenery. Stop off points. No delays.’
Despite running through some of the most picturesque scenery in the land in Cumbria, the M6 – the UK’s longest motorway – receives an overall satisfaction rating of 66 per cent, far below that of the M5.
The A303, which runs from Basingstoke in Hampshire and takes drivers past Stonehenge (above) and on to Devon, receives the highest satisfaction rating in the Transport Focus ranking for motorways and A roads
One driver using the M6 said: ‘Terrible tarmac conditions in places, matrix signs not up to date, unwarranted smart motorway speed limits.’
The bottom-ranked A27, meanwhile, which runs from Wiltshire to East Sussex, was slated by one driver for harbouring huge amounts of rubbish in the verges.
They said: ‘The trip was fine. What is such a shame is the amount of rubbish on the sides of the roads. I have travelled on this road for nearly 30 years and the amount of rubbish in the past few years has got much worse. They used to pick up rubbish – what has happened?’
The A12, which runs from London to Lowestoft in Suffolk, ranks second from last in the table with an overall satisfaction score of 61 per cent. One driver describes its surface as ‘terrible’.
ENGLAND’S MOTORWAYS AND ROADS RANKED FOR 2023
A303 – 85% satisfaction rating
M5 – 82%
M40 – 82%
A30 – 79%
M11 – 79%
A50 – 78%
A19 – 77%
M4 – 76%
A46 – 76%
A1(M) – 76%
A14 – 75%
A38 – 74%
A45 – 74%
A3 – 73%
A2 – 73%
M3 – 72%
M1 – 72%
A34 – 72%
M20 – 70%
M62 – 69%
M56 – 69%
A1 – 68%
M27 – 68%
M60 – 68%
M42 – 68%
M25 – 67%
A5 – 67%
A47 – 66%
M6 – 66%
A12 – 61%
A27 – 59%
Source: Transport Focus
Despite running through some of the most picturesque scenery in the land in Cumbria (above), the M6 has been declared England’s worst motorway
The bottom-ranked A27 (above), which runs from Wiltshire to East Sussex, was slated by one driver for harbouring huge amounts of rubbish in the verges
Transport Focus said that overall, 73 per cent of road users were satisfied with their last motorway or major ‘A’ road journey, an improvement on last year’s 69 per cent – and that journeys on smart motorways had lower levels of satisfaction with road users than those that did not include a smart section (smart 69 per cent, not smart 76 per cent).
Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, said: ‘England’s motorways and “A” roads are at the heart of how many of us move around the country. It’s good to see the M5 and M40 perform well.
‘As the so-called backbone of Britain, the M6 is a vital route which National Highways must continue to focus on, [to] deliver safe, smooth journeys. We’ll continue to keep pushing National Highways to improve these issues.’