Brake warns of gridlock Britain

12 Nov 2015
Brake, the road safety charity

  • Motor vehicle traffic has increased, for the tenth quarter in succession
  • 2% increase in vehicle traffic
  • The provisional figure of 316.1 billion vehicle miles is the highest rolling annual total ever

The Department for Transport today (12 November 2015) released provisional statistics that show Britons are using more cars, van and lorries than ever before. Van traffic continued to rise faster than any other vehicle type, increasing by 6.0% to a new peak of 46.9 billion vehicle miles.

The report suggests that this rise is partly due to the growth in the economy as well as lower fuel prices. Traffic on motorways and rural roads was higher than it has ever been.

The figures should “give cause for alarm”, says Gary Rae, campaigns director for road safety charity, Brake:

He said: “These rises are not sustainable. We’re in our 20th year and in that time, we’ve seen an increase of 19% in all traffic. In a report published earlier this year, the Department for Transport forecast is for traffic growth of 19% to 55% between 2010 and 2040. Back in 2011, the RAC Foundation reported that the number of cars was set to increase by 43% by 2035 and traffic delays by 50%.”

“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. During Road Safety Week (23-29 November), we’ll be revealing the impact on our health and the environment of these ever rising figures.”

Notes to Editors


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 campaignscommunity 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 now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook or The Brake Blog.

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.


Tags: Department for Transport traffic