Traffic volumes appear to still be below pre-pandemic levels with flexible working patterns that have become commonplace across the UK likely to be a major factor, said RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes.
“Nonetheless, the trend is upwards, especially so for vans and HGVs – both of which show higher traffic volumes than prior to the pandemic. Therefore it remains vitally important that the Government continues to invest in improving our road network to increase capacity.”
The recent trends in road traffic have been impacted by the national restrictions implemented from March 2020 onwards following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Provisional estimates show motor vehicles travelled 318.6 billion vehicle miles in Great Britain for the year ending March 2022. All motor vehicle traffic increased compared to the year ending March 2021 (+29.7%), but was 5.9% lower than pre-pandemic levels (the year ending December 2019).
|Percentage change from…||Last quarter||Last year||Pre-pandemic||Five years ago|
|Year ending||Mar 2022||Dec 2021||Mar 2021||Dec 2019||Mar 2017|
|All motor vehicle traffic||318.6 billion||+7.1%||+29.7%||-5.9%||-3.1%|
|Cars and taxis||237.5 billion||+7.3%||+32.9%||-9.6%||-6.9%|
|Light goods vehicles||58.8 billion||+8.1%||+25.2%||+9.9%||+15.1%|
|Heavy goods vehicles||17.8 billion||+1.6%||+10.1%||+3.2%||+4.6%|
|‘A’ roads||138.5 billion||+6.8%||+29.6%||-7.8%||-4.6%|
|Minor roads||114.7 billion||+6.6%||+25.6%||-2.7%||-0.8%|