Friday, February 10, 2017

New Traffic Figures of Concern to Road Haulage Operators and Safety Advocates

Freight Vehicles Show Major Increase in Mileage Travelled
Shipping News Feature
UK – Figures from the UK’s Department of Transport have shown that traffic on the country’s roads reached record highs, something which should alarm the country’s road haulage operators and sparking concern from a road safety charity on the sustainability of the road network. The figures show that 320.5 billion vehicle miles were travelled on Great Britain’s roads in the year ending December 2016, which was 1.2% higher than the previous year. This is a record level, 2% higher than the pre-recession peak in the year ending September 2007. Rolling annual motor vehicle traffic has now increased each quarter in succession for over three years.

Breaking down the figures further reveals car traffic increased by 0.7 per cent to a record high of 249.5 billion vehicle miles, whilst freight statistics show van traffic (LGV) rose by 3.4% to a new peak of 48.5 billion vehicle miles and HGV traffic grew by 2.8% overall to 17.1 billion vehicle miles. The report suggests that this rise is partly due to the growth in the economy as well as lower fuel prices.

However the figures should ‘give cause for alarm’, according to road safety charity Brake, with Gary Rae, campaigns director, commenting:

“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 we highlighted the lethal consequences of too many vehicles on our roads. The situation is becoming markedly worse”.