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Road traffic increases

Internet shopping fuels rise in road traffic

But residential traffic still below pre-recession levels

9 February 2017

The AA says that the increased demand for home deliveries caused by the growth in online shopping has contributed to the increase in vehicle miles.

The claim comes after the Department for Transport released figures showing that a total of 320.5 billion miles were travelled in 2016 by all vehicle users, an increase of 5.5% when compared to 2011.

Busy city centre dual carriageway junction

The data also shows that:

  • Total car mileage travelled has increased by 3.7% when compared to 2011 figures, and
  • Van mileage has increased by around a fifth (17.2%).

Residential traffic still down

The latest UK traffic statistics also show that, although the overall car traffic level is at a record high, traffic on residential roads is still below where it was just before the financial crash. That is despite the UK car population shooting up 9.3% since 2008, from 28.247 million to 30.870 million vehicles.

Responding to the report, Edmund King, AA president said “Vehicle usage has increased steadily over the last few years and the total mileage travelled is now higher than its pre-recession peak.

while car ownership, motorway and A road usage is on the rise, drivers are still restricting their local journeys due to parking pressures and fuel costs
Edmund King, AA president

 

“Contributing to this boom is the steady rise of internet shopping. We have found that our members are increasingly relying on these services rather than making visits to stores – which is one reason, along with parking pressures and the impact of higher pump prices, why residential road traffic is still depressed.

“AA research has uncovered that supermarkets are delivering groceries to 16%* of car-owning households, with 6% getting weekly deliveries. 

“This shows that while car ownership, motorway and A road usage is on the rise, drivers are still restricting their local journeys due to parking pressures and fuel costs.”


 

*Populus received 21,877 responses from AA members to its online poll between 14 and 21 June 2016. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules

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