Fleet News

Congestion on UK roads is at its ‘worst’ for more than 10 years

cars on a road

A Freight Transport Association (FTA) survey has revealed that congestion on UK roads is at the worst it has been for over 10 years.   

FTA’s Quarterly Transport Activity Survey (QTAS) illustrated the rate of deterioration in reliability on the road network at 55% – which is the lowest it has been since 2002, due to increased traffic in the run-up to Christmas. 

The results from the survey of over 100 logistics operators are seen as an indication of the impact of the increase in domestic road freight activity levels, and further highlight the rate of decline in the reliability of the UK motorway network.

Karen Dee, FTA’s director of policy, said: “This FTA Survey is a clear indication that congestion on our roads has increased again, and drivers are getting stuck in traffic on a regular basis. 

“Reliability on the UK road network is crucial for road freight operators.

“The freight and logistics industry needs road infrastructure that it can rely on to ensure that products are moved efficiently and at reasonable cost. 

“As the economy grows there will be increasing demands which will mean more pressure to deliver and more vehicles on the roads – so it is only going to get worse.”

Previously FTA voiced its support for the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) – which was announced by the Department for Transport in December 2014, stating that it “believed it can only be good news for all road users.” 

The RIS outlines plans for £15 billion to be spent over five years on 1,300 new lane miles on motorways and trunk roads in order to reduce congestion, and fix some of the most notorious and longstanding problem areas on the UK road network.

Other key findings of the FTA QTAS survey: 

  • Most industry sectors are expecting robust growth in domestic road freight activity in the first quarter of 2015.
  • Growth in road freight activity levels is expected in most regions in the first quarter of 2015.
  • Concerns raised about driver shortages in the first quarter of 2015 as HGV driver vacancies prove the most difficult posts to fill, with nearly a third of respondents reporting long delays in recruitment.
  • Insolvencies in the road transport sector in the final quarter of 2014 remain at pre-recession levels and 60 per cent lower than at the peak of the recession.
  • Weak economic growth in the Euro area, coupled with the increasing strength of Sterling against the Euro, is expected to ease international activity in the first quarter of 2015. 

Login to comment


  • Darren - 20/03/2015 15:32

    There are just too many cars on the road now. At the moment it takes me up to an hour to travel to work, which is 20 miles and takes me on three open stretches of road (60mph & 70mph limits). We need to improve road discipline, as following the rules and guidelines as laid out in the highway code as I often see rude/aggressive/ignorant driving styles which can really slow down traffic flow, cause accidents and even put lives in danger. Some of the things I see include: Turning left from a right hand lane (marked right only). Stopping in a yellow box area. Pulling across a lane into a space on the far side of a yellow box, forcing someone to get stuck in the yellow box. Pulling into a service road to avoid a traffic jam, then pull back into the traffic at the other end. Pulling off a motorway/A road on joining slip road, and re-joining the main road so they can skip a few cars head in a jam. Driving over a hashed area so they don't have to wait behind other cars. The list goes on...

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee