Memorandum of Understanding to ‘improve the customer experience’ for road users
The Highways Agency (HA) and National Express (NX) coaches have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together to share information about England’s network of motorways and A roads.
The agreement, signed between the two organisations on Tuesday (September 9), is the first of its kind between the HA and a commercial transport operator.
Graham Dalton, Chief Executive of the HA, signed the MoU with Dean Finch, Chief Executive of NX Group, at London’s Victoria Coach Station – the busiest coach terminal in the UK.
Graham said: “England’s motorways and major A roads are a crucial part of our national transport system – used by a wide range of customers with varying needs. As we move towards becoming a government-owned company, with additional responsibility and accountability on behalf of road users, it is important that we provide an even greater focus on our customers.
“We recognise that partnerships like the one signed today are vital if we are going to improve the customer experience for the millions of drivers who use our network every year.”
The agreement will see road users’ journeys benefit directly. In practice this will herald:
- Faster information sharing when incidents occur on the roads, enabling NX to add to knowledge of the issue and support the Highways Agency to deal with it as effectively and quickly as possible;
- Earlier notification of incidents so NX can react more readily to divert coaches and keep them on track as necessary; and
- Increasingly agile responses by NX by improved forward planning around road works and improvements.
The Highways Agency will additionally benefit from the company’s 40-plus years of expertise in coach journeys and their real-time updates, sent from its coaches while out on the road. This will give the Agency an extra assessment tool regarding the reliability of journeys on its network.
Dean Finch said: “NX continually strives for excellence across all our operations and working in partnership with the HA will enable us to deliver a better service for the millions of customers who use our coaches every year, as well as supporting road users generally. We have an unrivalled expertise in passenger transport and believe this offers unique insight that can be harnessed to the benefit of road users across the UK.”