Motorbikes now cover more miles on UK roads than buses, according to figures released today by the Department for Transport.
The data shows that traffic on UK roads in 2015 covered a total of 317 billion miles – 1.6% higher than the year before and 0.8% more than the previous record achieved in 2007.
The only road traffic that saw a reduction was bus travel – which dropped by 4.6% to 2.7 billion miles. Although motorbike travel remained the same, motorbikes now cover more miles on UK roads than buses – at 2.8 billion in total.
Van traffic increased the most in 2015 (up 4.2%), while car traffic increased by 1.1% to 247.7 billion miles.
With traffic expected to hit a further high in 2016, the RAC has said that our road network is not being developed enough to cope with the extra traffic.
RAC roads policy spokesman Nick Lyes said: “While traffic has only increased very slightly on the previous year it has taken us to record levels, but the longer term picture is more concerning with overall traffic since 1995 growing by 18.6% in stark contrast to the overall length of our roads which has only increased by 2.4%.
“The data shows the length of motorways increased by 11.8%, however in the same period traffic levels on motorways increased by 44%, demonstrating that major road usage is outstripping road space.
“The number of cars in Britain has shot up by 43% from 21 million in 1995 to over 30 million in 2015, yet in that time the country’s roads are just under 6,000 miles longer.
“Having a road network that is fit for purpose, in terms of being able to cope with increased traffic as well as being maintained to an acceptable level, is vital for a prosperous economy. There is little doubt that the Government’s Road Investment Strategy recognises the importance of this, but these figures show there is a lot of catching up that must be done.”
The figures reveal that the average car stuck in traffic faces delays of 44.6 seconds per mile – up 5.5% from 2014.