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Road traffic in Great Britain: Social Indicators page

Published Monday, November 27, 2017

Trends since 1950 in road traffic in Great Britain.

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Road traffic in 2016 was 2.2% higher than in 2015, and the highest level on record.

Traffic grew by a faster rate in 2016 - up 2.2% compared to 1.6% growth in 2015.

Road traffic by road type
Cars and taxis made up 78% of motor vehicle traffic but the fastest growth in traffic was light goods vehicles. Traffic of LGVs grew 4.7% from 46.9 to 49.1 billion vehicle miles.

Road traffic

At the end of 2016 there were 37.3 million licensed vehicles in Great Britain, of which  30.9 million were cars.

In 2016 the average annual distance travelled per car was 7,800 miles. Between 2002 and 2016 average annual distance travelled per car decreased by 14%.

62% of car journeys in England in 2016 had only one occupant and the average occupancy rate was 1.55 people per car. These figures have not significantly changed since 2002.

77% of households had access to a car or van in 2016. 34% had two or more cars or vans.

Commons Briefing papers SN02659

Author: Tom Rutherford

Topic: Roads

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