Currently reading: British road traffic volume reaches record level
Vehicles travelled a total of 323.7 billion miles on UK roads last year; cars and taxis accounted for 252.6bn of those miles

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.

220316tomtom tomtom traffic index bristol credit 1000 words shutterstock

“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.

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russ13b 30 April 2017

erm... speed?

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?
Ada 30 April 2017

When will the U.K. Wake UP.

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.
smokescreen38 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?