Driver trends could see congestion chaos by 2024

British roads could be jammed with an extra seven million drivers within the next two decades, according to data from the RAC.

Current trends predict that the amount of drivers on the road could leap from the current 36 million to 43 million by 2024 if the upward rise in new drivers continues.

Congestion chaos in the pipeline

The RAC also said that its forecast is consistent with official government figures which state that traffic levels in the UK will rise by approximately a fifth by 2025 and a third by 2035.

Eastern England, Yorkshire and Humberside and predicted to have the biggest rise in traffic levels, with predictions showing a 25 per cent rise in those areas in the next twenty years.

The figures come from a paper published by the RAC, entitled Moving Cities: The Future of Urban Travel. According to the paper, three-quarters of households in built up urban areas have at least one car.

Predictions state that this will grow in the coming years, contributing to rising levels of congestion on the roads in the UK, particularly in areas already affected by slow moving traffic jams.

As a result, the RAC has announced that the government’s recently-announced £15bn investment into improving the state of roads around the country.

Attitudes towards transport needs to change

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation director, said: “Traffic forecasting is not an exact science but the direction of travel is clear: towards increasing jams.

“We all want to see more drivers using alternative methods of getting about but the Government’s own figures suggest we face an uphill battle under present policies.”

He added: “To preserve the quality of life in towns and cities we must revise our travel expectations and ministers need to set clear and coherent strategies to facilitate this.”

Yesterday, the government announced its plans to create 100 new road improvement schemes throughout the country with proposals for busting congested areas and increasing road links.

Other proposed projects include the construction of a tunnel at the A303 near Stonehenge, plus improved junctions on the M25 and 1,300 miles worth of new motorway lanes and A roads.

Earlier this year, the fourth annual Traffic Index Report from satnav manufacturer TomTom showed that congestion in the UK has got significantly worse in the past year and could rise further.

According to the report, the average journey last year took 27 per cent longer than it would in free-flowing traffic, which is up from 26 per cent in the previous year.

Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom said: “Traffic congestion is nothing new, and continues to be a global challenge and the traditional responses to congestion, such as building new roads or widening existing ones, are no longer proving to be effective.”