Light commercial and heavy goods vehicle traffic has returned to pre-lockdown levels, providing some positive news when it comes to the economy.
Commercial vehicle traffic is generally seen as a barometer for the overall economy and the new figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that weekday traffic for HGVs was down 39% at the end of March, its lowest point compared to pre-lockdown levels. However, it has climbed steadily since then and last week it was down just 2%.
Weekend HGV traffic levels have now recovered as well, and are currently marginally above pre-lockdown levels.
Although van traffic has also risen, it saw a sharper fall than HGV traffic during the early stages of the lockdown, with LCV data revealing a 61% drop at the end of March compared to pre-lockdown traffic levels. While LCV traffic is now climbing back to normal levels, it took much longer to recover than HGV traffic; as of last week it was 7% below its pre-lockdown rate.
The Department for Transport’s research was carried out from 1 March to 22 July and used the equivalent day on the first week of February as a benchmark for the data collection period.
Responding to the new data, Greg Wilson, founder insurance comparison site Quotezone.co.uk said: “The logistics industry is the lifeblood of the British economy, and vans and HGVs are critical components of the logistics sector, so it’s a really positive step towards economic recovery to have van and HGV traffic returning to pre-lockdown levels.
“However, although trucking companies and courier companies have played a vital role in keeping the economy moving, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been affected by the pandemic – the sharp fall in logistics traffic on Britain’s roads in April can attest to that.
“With a recession looming it’s more important than ever for logistics businesses to tighten their belts and shop around for the best deals.”