Vehicle miles on UK roads continues to increase

Recent statistics from the Department for Transport shows that the number of miles travelled by cars on UK roads increased b 1% between April 2018 and March 2019.

Overall, all motor vehicle traffic miles increased by 0.8%, with a provisional estimate of 328.9 billion miles travelled during the period. Whilst traffic on motorways and A roads increased by 0.9% and 1.8% respectively, there was a decrease of 0.6% in traffic on minor roads. These figures are provisional at present, but show that there remains a trend for considerable road usage by motorists.

Traffic survey reveals long term trends

The Department for Transport statistics also include some long-term trends. Road use by cars has increased by 10.7% over the past 20 years. Vans have increased by more than 60% whilst lorry traffic has remained relatively stable. Overall, there has been a 15% growth in motor vehicle traffic on UK roads since 1999.

The Department for Transport has published several road traffic forecasts, based on a range of premises. What is certain is that the UK road network – from motorways to major A roads to our vat network of minor roads – will continue to see heavy traffic use for many years to come. That means we need to be constantly looking at how we can improve the network, reduce congestion, encourage people to share vehicles or switch to public transport and ensure that there is enough parking provision, particularly around new developments.

Prioritising traffic concerns

Traffic planning often dominates discussions about new development or regeneration projects. Issues of parking, access and increased numbers of vehicles on local roads are common points of contention. And this isn’t just about residents coming and going – it can be about construction traffic, delivery vans if developments are mixed use, and options for greener transport methods like bikes, public transport, electric charging points and pedestrian access.

Little surprise then that, given the impact of new traffic in areas right across the UK, developers and planning authorities want to be able to see exactly where congestion points might be and how they can alleviate them.

That’s why there’s a growing need for traffic surveys, parking surveys, journey time comparisons and more. At Road Data Services, we work with a wide range of clients across the UK to collect and report accurate traffic and road use data to help with informed decision making. To find out more about how we could help with your next project, contact us today.

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