Recent statistical bulletins cover the condition of England’s roads, walking and cycling in England, further analysis of the 2016 National Travel Survey and Welsh motorcycle casualties for 2016.
Road condition statistics (DfT)
The headline finding is that the condition of local authority managed ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ roads has gradually improved over the last five years.
The DfT’s ‘Road Condition Indicator’ (RCI) is made up of several factors which combine to give an overall measure of the state of the road. Based on their RCI score, the condition of the roads can be split into three categories (red, amber and green). Roads classified as red are described as ‘should have been considered for maintenance’, or in need of attention.
The proportion of ‘A’ roads that should have been ‘considered for maintenance’ in 2016/17 was 3%, the same as the previous year – but down from 5% in 2012/13.
The bulletin also shows that 6% of ‘B’ and ‘C’ roads should have been considered for maintenance, the same as in the previous year.
The DfT says there are many possible reasons for these changes including milder winters, local authority road maintenance strategies, funding, and the levels of road traffic and congestion.
However, unclassified roads have not seen the same improvement over the last five years – remaining ‘broadly stable’.
Walking and cycling (DfT)
This bulletin shows that on average people made 243 walking trips (covering 198 miles) and 15 cycling trips (covering 53 miles), in 2016.
Looking at longer term trends, walking trip rates decreased by 19% between 2005 and 2015, from approximately 4.7 trips per week to 3.8 trips per week.
The average distance walked also decreased across the same period – down 8% from 3.8 miles per week to 3.5 miles per week.
However, people cycled 26% further in 2016 compared to 2006, up to an average 53 miles per year from 42 miles per year.
2016 National Travel Survey (DfT)
Further analysis of the 2016 National Travel Survey – first published in July 2017 – suggests there have been substantial changes in travel behaviour since 1975, with the total number of trips per person per year falling since 1995.
Looking at more recent trends, the analysis shows that between 2011-2014, distance travelled per head was 80% greater in rural areas than in the Greater London built-up area. Car driver travel per person was also three times greater.
Motorcycle casualty stats 2016 (Welsh Government)
Statistics published by the Welsh Government last week (18 Jan) show that 22 motorcyclists were killed on the country’s roads in 2016 – three fewer than the previous year.
There were 254 motorcyclists killed or seriously injured (KSI) in 2016 – down 7% from 273 in 2015. However, this figure is only 1% lower than the 2004-08 average (257).
The figures also show that although motorcyclists only accounted for 0.7% of traffic in Wales in 2016, they represented 41% of motor vehicle drivers KSIs.
84% of motorcyclist KSI incidents occured in fine weather, compared to 12% in rainy weather conditions.