Due to economic growth, road traffic in Britain rose by 2.2%, causing it to reach its highest ever level in 2015, according to information from the New Department for Transport.
A provisional figure of 317.8 billion vehicle miles travelled on GB roads in 2015 is the highest ever annual total at 1.1% higher than the pre-recession peak at the end of September 2007.
- Figures show that van traffic continued to rise faster than any other vehicle type, increasing by 6.1% to a new peak of 47.7 billion vehicle miles. Similarly, car traffic increased by 1.7% to 248.6 billion vehicle miles, which is only very slightly above pre-recession figures
- HGV traffic rose on motorways and rural ‘A’ roads, but fell on urban ‘A’ roads. All road classes experienced a rise apart from urban ‘A’ road traffic which remained at the same level
- Motorway traffic saw an increase of 2.4% to 65.8 billion vehicle miles. This is the highest ever level recorded. However, the biggest increase of any road type came from minor rural road traffic, rising 5.2% to 45.8 billion vehicle miles
- As a result of the increased congestion, average speeds continued to decline. The average speed on local ‘A’ roads in England during weekday mornings at the end of 2015 saw a 0.7% decrease to 23.4mph on the year ending September 2015
David Bizley, Chief Engineer at RAC said; “Government figures show there has been an increase in traffic in line with a rise in the country’s business output (GDP) so slower average speeds appear to be the downside for motorists. The Government is investing in major roads and has ring-fenced car tax income to continue the investment beyond 2020, but the evidence suggests the condition of local roads is still in need of extra investment.”