UK’s love of internet shopping is clogging up our roads
Increase in delivery vans across Britain causing gridlock and huge delays
According to official figures, the UK’s love of internet shopping has created more congestion on our roads.
More delivery vans on the roads has generated gridlock throughout the country, meaning longer delays than normal for motorists.
The Department for Transport (DfT) released their provisional figures last week, which show that traffic in the UK has reached record levels, surpassing the former pre-recession peak.
Overall, 320.5 billion vehicle miles were covered throughout the UK in 2016 – a rise of 1.2% on the previous year.
The traffic on rural A-roads and motorways is now at record levels, whereas traffic on minor roads in the towns and cities remained “broadly stable.”
The number of delivery vans dropping off groceries and other items to homes across the country has increased massively, plus a growth in the amount of lorries on the roads has led to a massive surge in traffic on the roads.
The DfT described the additional traffic as “good news” for the British economy, however the new figures will be more of a headache for Chancellor Philip Hammond, who’s already allocated £1.3 billion to try and deal with traffic issues.
Mr Hammond believes that the increase in traffic could hold back the economy, as more people will be stuck in traffic jams rather than being in work, not to mention the misery motorists in the UK will have to face sitting in long queues.
People in the UK love internet shopping – we spent around £130 billion online last year alone, a rise of 16% on the previous year.
The growing popularity of internet giants such as Amazon, along with the ability to go online and order our weekly grocery shop, has fuelled our passion for internet shopping.
Van traffic has grown nearly five times faster than car traffic, with vans clocking up a record 48.5billion miles in 2016, an increase of 3.4%.
Heavy goods vehicle traffic also rose last year by 2.8%, whereas car traffic only increased by 0.7 per cent.
Van traffic has climbed by almost a fifth (17.2%), over the past five years.
The DfT claim that over the past four years, vans and light goods vehicles have been the fastest growing type of traffic, rising on average by 4.1% each year.
Will Quince, committee member of the Commons Transport Committee, said they are looking into the increase of white vans on UK roads as part of a more expansive investigation into the worsening congestion issues.
Mr Quince believes that action needs to be taken before the traffic problems worsen. He said: “The increase in traffic is almost certainly driven by online shopping. The drive for more convenience means internet shopping will continue to increase and more vans will be needed to deliver goods to homes.”
He proposes that delivery companies consider looking at alternative ways in which they can deliver their goods, perhaps by introducing an evening delivery run, when the roads are quieter and more people are at home to answer the door.
Internet giants Amazon are in the process of trialling drones to deliver some of their parcels and carried out a test run in December last year.
Back in October, figures showed that congestion for drivers had increased by 40% over the last four years, with motorists having to spend around 12.4 extra hours sitting in traffic each year.
However, the AA claims that the Government’s latest figures reveal that motorists are curbing their local journeys because of the rise in fuel prices and the cost of parking.
The AA also mentioned that although the boom in internet shopping has contributed to the increased level of traffic; this in turn means that many householders are taking fewer journeys to do their shopping.
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