Van traffic on Great Britain’s roads has continued to rise over the last year with the increase credited to rising online deliveries.
The latest provisional figures from the Department for Transport show there were 325.1 billion vehicle miles travelled on Great Britain’s roads in the year – up 1.4% on the previous year.
Van traffic was up by 3.6% to a new peak of 49.8 billion vehicle miles while car traffic increased by 1.3% to a record 253.5 billion vehicle miles while. In contrast lorry traffic fell by 1.5% to 16.5 billion vehicle miles.
RAC spokesman Simon Williams said of the figures: “With traffic levels at a record high level it seems that the UK’s online economy is thriving as van traffic continues to rise. Looking over a 20-year period there is a staggering 70% increase in van traffic which must be proof that the nation’s ever increasing internet shopping habit is changing the type of traffic on our roads.”
Earlier this year, RAC Foundation research also highlighted that increased van traffic could possibly be the result of more small businesses and sole traders investing in vans and then using them both as a work tool and for family transport.
The latest DfT data also found that all road types have been impacted by the increases in traffic, apart from urban ‘A‘ roads. New record traffic levels were seen on motorways (68 billion vehicle miles), rural ‘A‘ roads (94.5 billion vehicle miles) and rural minor roads (46 billion vehicle miles), with only urban ‘A‘ roads remaining broadly stable.
The RAC’s Simon Williams added: “While car and taxi traffic has risen by 1.3% to a new high, it is concerning to see there has been a notable increase in rural A-road and minor road use. This could be a sign that major routes are struggling to cope with the volume of vehicles and motorists are seeking alternative routes to avoid jams. This is something that we will need to keep a close eye on to see if this becomes a clear trend.”