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Traffic levels at new record high

Road traffic levels in Great Britain continue to rise, reaching a new record high in the year ending June 2017.

Traffic levels at new record high

Traffic levels at new record high

The latest provisional figures from the Department for Transport show there were 325.1 billion vehicle miles travelled on Great Britain’s roads in the year – up 1.4% on the previous year.

Car traffic increased by 1.3% to a record 253.5 billion vehicle miles while van traffic was up by 3.6% to a new peak of 49.8 billion vehicle miles. In contrast lorry traffic fell by 1.5% to 16.5 billion vehicle miles.

Record traffic levels were seen on motorways (68 billion vehicle miles), rural ‘A‘ roads (94.5 billion vehicle miles) and rural minor roads (46 billion vehicle miles), with only urban ‘A‘ roads remaining broadly stable.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said of the figures: “With traffic levels at a record high level it seems that the UK’s online economy is thriving as van traffic continues to rise. Looking over a 20-year period there is a staggering 70% increase in van traffic which must be proof that the nation’s ever increasing internet shopping habit is changing the type of traffic on our roads.

“While car and taxi traffic has risen by 1.3% to a new high, it is concerning to see there has been a notable increase in rural A-road and minor road use. This could be a sign that major routes are struggling to cope with the volume of vehicles and motorists are seeking alternative routes to avoid jams. This is something that we will need to keep a close eye on to see if this becomes a clear trend.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.