UK traffic congestion levels have reached an all-time high, with van traffic taking the lead over any other vehicle. The Department of Transport reported that van traffic has risen three times more than car traffic this year, increasing by 4.5% in comparison to 1.4%. These new statistics reveal motor vehicle traffic has increased each year since 2013, seeing an average increase of 4.8% in van traffic.
Great Britain saw 324.3 billion vehicle miles travelled in the past year, with the year recorded ending in March 2017. These traffic levels are 1.7% higher than 2016 and 3.2% higher than statistics recorded before the recession in 2007.
This sudden surge in traffic congestion means it is more crucial than ever to sustain and improve road safety measures. Nick Lyes, RAC’s spokesman on roads policy, said: “These figures underline the importance of 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.
New consumer interests could be responsible for the continual increase in van traffic levels, as the demand for online shopping, food deliveries and various courier services has triggered the need for vans as a primary vehicle. Driving a van also requires less driver training, compared to trucks and lorries, which means businesses have more incentive to provide vans for employees as opposed to vehicles that require training.