Nottingham City Council, which runs a municipal bus company, has come top in a major survey of public satisfaction with highways and transport, including registering the highest score for buses.
The city council also scored highest for local bus services (78.1%), public transport information (77.5%) and traffic management (64.9%).
The result could prompt fresh debate over the creation of municipal bus companies, as Nottingham City Council runs its own bus company, Nottingham City Transport, and came out on top just as ministers are trying to prevent the expansion of such models.
Nottingham (pictured) came top for bus services
Politicians and campaigners, led by Labour, are trying to persuade ministers to drop a clause in the Bus Services Bill, currently going through Parliament, which would give franchising powers to some councils but also ban councils from setting up new municipally owned bus companies.
The National Highways and Transport Network’s 2016 Public Satisfaction Survey, which collected the public’s views on highway and transport services in 106 local authority areas, received a record response of nearly 100,000 completed surveys.
Nottingham achieved the highest overall satisfaction rating (61.5%), as well as achieving an almost identical score (61.4%) – and top spot – in a separate survey conducted at a national level.
Cllr Nick McDonald, portfolio holder for business, growth and transport said: 'Development on our local bus services, which we are able to provide through close working relationships with the local bus providers, integrated ticketing, and low-carbon transport are vital to providing great transport options and are also important to businesses to encourage economic growth which enable us to succeed as a city.'
The survey also found that the condition of roads remains the public’s joint top transport priority but is the issue with the lowest public satisfaction rating,
The two issues that respondents across the country saw as most important, each cited by 96%, were ‘highway condition’ and ‘safer roads’. Only 37% of respondents said they were satisfied with ‘highway condition’ – the lowest satisfaction figure – while 60% said they were satisfied on the issue of ‘safer roads’.
Other issues highlighted as important by respondents were street lighting (87%), local buses (87%), reducing traffic (86%) and traffic pollution (85%). Only 50% of respondents stated that they were satisfied on the issue of traffic pollution and 45% expressed satisfaction on the issue of reducing traffic.
The survey also found that the maintenance and management of ‘roads’ was the service the public least wants to see reduced, followed by ‘drainage’ and ‘pavements’.
Local authorities who signed up to participate in the local survey distributed 392,646 questionnaires and a total of 97,573 people who took part, including around 7,000 online, representing a 24.4% response rate.