How will Brexit affect the UK’s traffic network?

At midnight on January 1st 2021, the Brexit transition period will end and the UK will be working either within an agreed fair trade agreement with the European Union or under World Trade Organization rules. Either way, there is likely to be an impact on the road network, particularly around port areas, but also in general. There may, during the year, be a renewed need for traffic surveys to show the impact on the network, on logistics firms and on general travel around the country.

Roads around port areas

The areas most likely to see traffic disruption are around ports. The UK’s major container ports are Felixstowe, Southampton, the Port of London, Immingham, Grangemouth, Belfast and Liverpool. In addition, there are many ports that take cargo traffic across to Europe – these include Dover, Portsmouth, Grimsby, Tees and Hartlepool and the Forth ports.

This means that port traffic is spread around the UK, and that traffic congestion is likely to build up in these areas if there are delays at the ports. This will obviously affect hauliers most of all, but it is likely to have a knock-on effect to general traffic in these areas.

This means potential implications for journey times, particularly for those living and working in port areas and the surrounding towns and cities. At the moment, we don’t know how deep the impact will be, but it may put drivers off moving around those areas and it may have an effect on businesses and individuals in those areas receiving goods or services.

Traffic survey requirements

As the effects of issues around port areas become clear, it is likely that planning and transport departments will want to collect reliable data about vehicle numbers, road use, journey times and parking data. This will help to provide a benchmark for any new road network usage and help bodies to show where there can be improvements made in order to release the pressure on the networks where possible.

It’s predicted that this pressure will ease after the first few months of the year, once new systems are put in place, but to begin with, drivers of all vehicles will need to keep an eye on how the roads are managing so that they can plan journeys accordingly.

Working with RDS

At Road Data Services, we can help with a wide variety of traffic surveys, helping you to plan ahead and keep your network moving. To find out more, contact us today.

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