Traffic on UK roads climbs to an all-time high

There’s more cars, van and lorries on the road than ever before!


Us Brits like nothing more than to have something to moan about. Take the weather for instance, we’re enjoying up to now a fantastic spell of hot weather yet many of us can do nothing but whinge about how hot it is, despite the fact that most of us complain every year about never having a proper summer!

And it’s the same with traffic – we Brits love to moan about how many vehicles are on the road these days and about the number of queues we have to endure on a daily basis, however, it seems as though these gripes are for once justified.

According to new data, there was a 1.3% increase in the number of miles driven by drivers in the UK last year – up to an alarming 327.1 billion miles were covered overall. This represents the highest figure on record since they began in 1949.

When broken down into mileage components, these represent the increases:

1.1% increase in car traffic
2.7% increase in van traffic
1.2% increase in lorry traffic

No matter what vehicle you drive, it looks as though there are more of you than ever before on UK roads.

The data suggests that it’s our motorways that are bearing most of the brunt, as 21% of the yearly mileage count happened on them, even though they only make up 1% of the UK road network.

Traffic on UK roads climbs to an all-time high

There’s more cars, van and lorries on the road than ever before!

Motorways and major ‘A’ roads combined make up the Strategic Road Network, which saw 34% of all power-driven traffic despite it only accounting for 2.4% of the UK’s total roads.

The RAC Foundation, who analysed the latest traffic data, insists that maintenance of our road network should at least correspond with the increase in the number of vehicles using them.

Director of the RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding said: “You could see the increase in traffic, especially the extra van and lorry mileage, as a sign of a resilient and growing economy, but it also underlines the need for sustained investment in our roads,” adding: “National and local highways have never been so busy and the result of so much use is easy to see in the form of potholes and ruts.”


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