UK traffic now ‘at a record high’ creating gridlock fears

UK traffic now 'at a record high' creating gridlock fears 18th November 2015

More cars than ever are now on the UK's roads, leading a road charity to claim that we could soon see gridlock if more is not done to deal with the levels of traffic on roads across the country. 

According to the Department for Transport, in a 12-month period to the end of September, there were some 316.1 billion miles of vehicle traffic recorded in the UK, which was up by 2.2 per cent on the same period a year earlier and 0.6 per cent higher than the peak in September 2007, meaning the roads across the country are now busier than they have ever been. 

Van traffic was the biggest contributor to this rise, with the number of miles travelled in total amounting to 46.9 billion, which was six per cent higher than the year before. 

Motorway traffic also hit a new all-time peak, climbing by some two per cent in the year to September to create a new record of 65.4 billion miles. 

Gary Rae, campaigns director for road safety charity Brake, said: "The figures are heading the wrong way and we're heading for gridlock. The Government needs to get a grip and outline what it intends to do."

One of the biggest indicators of potential gridlock comes in the form of the commute speed in the mornings. On average, speed on A roads in England between 7am and 10am – the busiest period in any day – was 23.6 mph. This was down by 0.5 per cent when compared to the 12 months to the end of June. 

Gridlock can be very difficult for drivers to deal with in any morning, largely because it can be frustrating when you're trying to get to work and you feel like you're going nowhere. It's important that drivers remember to be patient, leave plenty of space for other vehicles in stop-start traffic and never take their eyes off the road at any time. 

Posted by Danielle Barge