Traffic on Britain’s roads has reached a record high according to new provisional figures from the Department for Transport.
In the year ending December 2016 car traffic increased by 0.7% to a record high of 249.5 billion vehicle miles, while heavy goods vehicle traffic and rose at an even faster rate, up 2.8% to 17.1 billion vehicle miles.
Road traffic charity Brake has described the figures as alarming. Campaigns director Gary Rae 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”.
The DfT report attributes the rise in traffic in 2016 partly due to growth in the economy along with lower fuel prices.