10 February 2017
New provisional figures from the Department for Transport show that motor vehicle traffic has reached a record high.
In the year ending December 2016 car traffic increased by 0.7 per cent to a record high of 249.5 billion vehicle miles and HGV traffic grew by 2.8 per cent overall to 17.1 billion vehicle miles.
The report suggests that this rise is partly due to the growth in the economy as well as lower fuel prices.
The figures should “give cause for alarm”, says Gary Rae, Brake’s campaigns director.
He said: “These rises are not sustainable. Provisional estimates suggest that both ‘A’ roads and motorways experienced the highest level of vehicle traffic recorded; motorway traffic increased by 2.1% to 67.9 billion vehicle miles in 2016, continuing a long-term trend of increasing motorway traffic over the past six years.
“The figures are heading the wrong way and we’re heading for gridlock. The government needs to get a grip and outline what it intends to do. Back in 2015, during Road Safety Week, we highlighted the lethal consequences of too many vehicles on our roads. The situation is becoming markedly worse”.
Notes to Editors
- Provisionally, 320.5 billion vehicle miles were travelled on Great Britain’s roads in the year ending December 2016, a figure 1.2% higher than 2015 and 2% higher than the pre-recession peak in the year ending September 2007.
- Rolling annual motor vehicle traffic has now increased each quarter in succession for over three years.
- The greatest increases were the number of LGV miles (3.4%) and HGV miles (2.8%) on our roads.
- Car traffic increased by 0.6% to a record 249.5 billion vehicle miles.
- Provisional estimates suggest that both A roads and motorways experienced the highest level of vehicle traffic recorded.
- Provisionally, motorway traffic increased by 2.1% to 67.9 billion vehicle miles in 2016, continuing a long-term trend of increasing motorway traffic over the past six years.
- Estimates suggest that A road traffic showed an increase of 2.0%, mainly on rural ‘A’ roads (increase of 2.5% to 93.6 billion vehicle miles), while traffic on urban ‘A’ roads increased by a smaller degree (up 1.1% to 50.2 billion vehicle miles).
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and has domestic operations in the UK and works globally to promote action on road safety.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.