Fleet News

Action demanded over traffic levels


Traffic levels in England have risen dramatically over the past decade, with every area except central London experiencing growth of up to 20%.

Across the country there has been a 12% average rise in traffic levels, which masks greater rises in many areas.

The largest increase has been in Northamptonshire, where traffic levels have risen by a fifth, with other major increases in North Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Durham and Northumberland, which have seen traffic grow by 17% over the past 10 years.

The Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) director of external affairs, Geoff Dossetter, said: “The Government must not ignore these trends.

“Traffic congestion is presently estimated to be costing the economy more than £20 billion every year.”

The FTA has forecast that between now and 2015 there will be just single figure percentage increases for HGV traffic. However, car traffic will go up by as much as 41% on some roads.

“The Government says it is serious about tackling climate change, but everywhere except London traffic levels keep on rising,” said Liberal Democrat shadow transport secretary, Norman Baker, who obtained the figures through a House of Commons question.

However, while agreeing that traffic levels have risen over the past decade, the Department for Transport (DfT) said it is not an indication of a failure of the Government’s transport policy.

“As the economy grows more people are travelling, and travelling further,” said a DfT spokesman.

“The Government is committed to tackling congestion and is making record investments in transport. This year we will spend around £900 million on improvements to major roads.

“However, we know we cannot simply build our way out of congestion.

“We are also working to get more from our existing roads through measures like active traffic management and local road pricing schemes as well as investing heavily in better public transport – we are spending £2.5 billion this year on buses, and £88 million a week on trains.”

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