ROAD USER groups this week reacted with 'surprise' to a new Highways Agency report which claims British drivers are now experiencing less congestion than in the past.
The Highways Agency's latest Road User Satisfaction Survey states that the percentage of drivers whose journeys are free from congestion has risen from 46% to 56% on motorways and 57% to 65% on trunk roads.
But the AA and British Roads Federation claimed the figures were the result of the 'low expectations of British drivers'.
The survey was carried out by consultant MVA. It put the rise in congestion free journeys down to a 'corresponding decrease in the percentage of journeys that were congested to a small extent, but without delays'.
However, British Roads Federation's Richard Diment said: 'These are surprising figures given that traffic has grown 3% in the last year which has substantially added to congestion. Incidents are taking longer and longer to deal with.'
He added: 'It would be better if road user surveys could be carried out by an independent inspectorate or regulator.'
Paul Waters of the AA agreed that the figures painted a surprising view of transport in the UK.
He said: 'We're not criticising the Agency but maybe they should think about comparing our roads with French autoroutes to get a truer picture.'