Traffic levels increased by more than 4% in Q1 2014, according to statistics published recently by the DfT.
Comparing Q1 (Jan-Mar) 2014 with the same quarter of the previous year, all motor vehicle traffic increased by 4.1 %, to 78.5 billion vehicle miles – the highest figure since the previous peak in 2008.
The bulletin also shows that car and LGV traffic increased by 3.8% and 7.3% respectively, and traffic volumes increased across all road classifications.
The DfT suggests that a combination of economic growth and relatively mild weather is likely to be behind the increase.
Another DfT statistical bulletin shows that average speed on ‘A’ roads fell slightly in the year ending March 2014.
The provisional data shows that the average speed on locally managed ‘A’ roads in England during the weekday morning peak was 24.6 mph – a 0.5% decrease on the year-ending December 2013.
A third bulletin shows that 78.1% of journeys on the Highways Agency’s network were completed ‘on time’ in the year ending March 2014, a slight increase (0.3%) on the year ending December 2013.
Journey time reliability fell for 12 consecutive months from a March 2012 peak of 81.5%, but has been mostly stable since March 2013. The DfT says this stabilisation is probably due to a combination of improved weather conditions (particularly less rain) and increases in traffic on motorways and rural ‘A’ roads, relative to the previous 12 months.