The number of miles travelled by car and taxi reached a record high in 2016, new Government figures have shown.
Published today (27 April), the DfT figures for Great Britain show that car and taxi traffic accounted for 252.6bn miles last year, a year-on-year rise of 2%.
Car and taxi travel represents 78% of all motor vehicle traffic, which experienced a similar rise of 2.2% to 323.7bn miles.
The RAC says the figures ‘underline the importance in having a road network that is truly fit for purpose’.
The DfT stats also show, perhaps unsurprisingly given the rise in internet shopping and subsequent home deliveries, that van traffic experienced the fastest year-on-year growth (in percentage terms) of motorised traffic, rising by 4.7% to a record high of 49.1bn vehicle miles.
Having grown steadily for the previous three years, heavy goods vehicle traffic remained broadly stable. However, the 2016 figure of 16.6bn vehicle miles remains around 9% below the peak level seen in 2007.
Bus and coach traffic saw the largest year-on-year decrease of any vehicle type, falling by 7.7% from 2.7 to 2.5bn vehicle miles, continuing the overall decline seen since 2007.
With regard to travel on two wheels, the number of miles travelled on bicycle (3.5bn) increased 6.3% year-on-year, and by 23.4% since 2006. Motorcycle miles (2.8bn) increased 1.9% year-on-year but are down 11% on the 2006 figure.
In terms of road type, motorways carried 67.8bn miles of traffic, 2% more than in 2015 and almost 10% more than 10 years ago.
Nick Lyes, RAC roads policy spokesman, said: “These figures underline the importance in having a road network that is truly fit for purpose – and a reminder to whoever forms the next government that investment must be sustained to support further economic growth, and to provide roads that deliver safe, reliable journeys for every UK motorist.
“Local roads are also seeing traffic growth and many are struggling to cope with a depressing combination of congestion and potholes. This is a constant source of frustration for millions of private and business motorists every day.
“The RAC believes that a strategic plan which includes longer term, ring-fenced funding is needed and that it recognises the vital role local roads play in moving people and goods around the country.”
Photo: Highways England via Flickr used under Creative Commons.