Vehicles travelled a total of 323.7 billion miles on UK roads last year; cars and taxis accounted for 252.6bn of those miles
28 April 2017

UK road traffic volume grew by 2% last year compared with 2015, with vehicles travelling a total of 323.7 billion miles in the 12 months.

Cars and taxis accounted for 252.6bn miles of that total figure, 72.1% of which were travelled on rural A-roads.

UK road traffic at all-time high

Car use has been steadily increasing since 2013, when a trend of decreasing miles that had been in place since 2002 was halted. Levels are now at record highs.

The fastest-growing traffic of the last decade has been on motorways, which now carry 10% more traffic than they did 10 years ago. 21% of all miles driven were on motorways in 2016.

Mark Shankland, managing director of AA Tyres, said the figures illustrated the importance of cars in Britain.

“The new stats bear out how much, as a nation, we’re indebted to our cars. While car stock has continued to rise, the total number of miles driven per person has increased beyond this - reflecting just how reliant we are on our motors for everyday usage," he said.

“With commuting and business trips contributing to the largest share of personal car traffic, it’s clear that drivers are more regularly covering the sort of mileage that used to be reserved for long summer trips.”

British motorists don't trust driverless cars

Shankland said that this “places even more of an onus on drivers to make regular checks on their vehicles - instead of just ahead of holiday getaways,” in order to ensure safety on the roads.

“Almost a third (32.6%) of accidents in the UK in which vehicle defects were a contributory factor were due to under inflated, defective or illegal tyres, and even if you’re lucky enough to escape unscathed, you could still find yourself hit with a hefty fine for driving with defective tyres - £2,500 per tyre and three penalty points,” he said.

Join the debate

Comments
7

29 April 2017
Isn't speed the biggest problem? According to the government and brake. Or is it that it is easier to stick a van on a motorway gantry and pillage people's wallets than putting plod in a car to stop badly maintained cars and get them off the roads, Then justify this with a range of stats that don't really stand scrutiny? More police in cars please, fewer cameras. Or use the fines to pay for proper policing,
Not that I have any strong opinions about this :)
Spanner

29 April 2017
Didn't England go into meltdown when HS2 as announced?,if we don't want gridlock we need to reinstate the Railway lines that Beeching closed in the sixties and put goods back on Trains,yes I know the Haulage companies won't like this but there will be a need for distribution,it has to be looked at I think,other solution might be all heavy goods,delivery and so on that can be should be delivered through the Night,thus during the Day Traffic would be lighter,of course there will be problems to solve.

Peter Cavellini.

29 April 2017
I drive a artic for a living. You'll be surprised on how much gets delivered through the night. I work for a company called Reed Boardhall, delivering fresh & frozen food. Fresh fish for example is collected from Fraserborough & Aberdeen at circa lunchtime driven down to Boroughbridge threw the evening & night depending on the driver's hours available. Sometimes trailer swapping 2 to 3 times just to get it down. Then after sorting the loads out & redistributing on to trailers with other fresh produce they normally roll for circa 06:00am to the said supermarket distribution centre's. Arriving around lunchtime. The loads then go out to the stores that evening. Most of the packing factories are miles from any train station so would have to be via a truck and so on through the distribution centre's and stores. We know how much rail tickets cost for people, frieght is even costlier. Not to mention human loads take priority over goods. It may work with non perishable, bog roll etc but not really food. Most RDC's work 24/7 & the bays are all running flat out through the night.Sorry but until teleportation is invented we're a bit stuck. Here's a thought have you not noticed when the kid's are on holiday traffic flows a heck of a lot better. So if the yummy mummys would actually like to walk the darlings to school it might be a lot less traffic on the road.

30 April 2017
smokescreen38 wrote:

I drive a artic for a living. You'll be surprised on how much gets delivered through the night. I work for a company called Reed Boardhall, delivering fresh & frozen food. Fresh fish for example is collected from Fraserborough & Aberdeen at circa lunchtime driven down to Boroughbridge threw the evening & night depending on the driver's hours available. Sometimes trailer swapping 2 to 3 times just to get it down. Then after sorting the loads out & redistributing on to trailers with other fresh produce they normally roll for circa 06:00am to the said supermarket distribution centre's. Arriving around lunchtime. The loads then go out to the stores that evening. Most of the packing factories are miles from any train station so would have to be via a truck and so on through the distribution centre's and stores. We know how much rail tickets cost for people, frieght is even costlier. Not to mention human loads take priority over goods. It may work with non perishable, bog roll etc but not really food. Most RDC's work 24/7 & the bays are all running flat out through the night.Sorry but until teleportation is invented we're a bit stuck. Here's a thought have you not noticed when the kid's are on holiday traffic flows a heck of a lot better. So if the yummy mummys would actually like to walk the darlings to school it might be a lot less traffic on the road.

Thanks for your insight into the Haulage business,I agree,Roads are a lot quieter when kids go on Hols,and I guess a lot of one one driver goes on where People who work in the same place going the same route could car share that and SUV and 4x4 fraternity who insist they feel safer in them,Mother's could take turns dropping off theirs and a few others a School times,I'm sure there are other ways of reducing Car use.

Peter Cavellini.

29 April 2017
Don't get me started on the speed issues. Leeds university has had a car & motorcycle running since the mid 90's with a satellite based speed limiter system. Motorcycle News rode the bike. Back in the early 2000's, other than a couple of bugs to work out they said it was more or less ready to go to market. As soon as the Conservative/Liberal coalition got in one of the first things they did was pull the funding for the limiter system. Funny how you never hear a peep about it from any politician or that "charity" Brake. It's always camera's will stop the deaths. If they both truly believe speed is the be all & end all of every accident, you'd think they'd be clambering all over themselves for this technology. But where's the profit in it?

Ada

30 April 2017
Turn the rail-lines back on , reinstate the lines the idiot Beecham closed down .
1.3 Billion the government is spending on roads now will create more traffic .
Build x2 HS2 will take more national transport off the roads , build more satellite rail lines around London and the Southeast.
The M3 and surrounding areas of Camberley Bagshot etc are now car parks .
This is first world moaning but actually we are walking towards 3rd world status.
Where is Crossrail 2 ?.
If it's money well the economy only benefits with infrastructure investment.

30 April 2017
why are people kicking off about speed? i didn't see it mentioned. the article appears to basically say the roads are busier than ever, so you're more likely to be in a crash, and even if it wasn't your fault you could still get stitched up for iffy tyres so get some new ones. traffic, even busy traffic, never seems as bad when you're on a motorcycle. based on my experience, if makes virtually no difference at all. it genuinely baffles me why more people aren't using them! before you start, i'm not one of the "maniac" types! freight by trains; if was actually cost effective etc, wouldn't companies already be doing it? didn't the post office stop using an overnight train a few years ago as it was too expensive?

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