The statistics show that the average British resident travelled over 6,800 miles a year in 1999/2001 – 5% further than in 1989/91 – with car, van and lorry travel now accounting for 82% of annual mileage.
The transport sector in general consumed more than one third (34%) of UK energy use, some 55 million tonnes of oil in 2001, although the average fuel consumption of cars has risen to about 30mpg.
However, the average consumption figure of petrol cars under two years old is 32mpg, compared with 29mpg for cars over eight years old, while the average economy of diesel cars is 39mpg. The figures from the Department for Transport show that the number of cars taxed for use now exceeds 25 million, that there are 32 million people with driving licences, and that the number of two-car households has risen to 27%, compared with 23% 10 years ago.
The number of road users killed or seriously injured last year fell to levels 28% below those suffered in 1991, despite the fact that in uncongested conditions nearly one in five car drivers exceeds the speed limit on motorways by more than 10 miles per hour, while the corresponding figure for dual carriageway A-roads was one in eight.