The Department of Transport released new figures showing collectively UK traffic travels 314.6 billion miles per year and the increase year on year from 2014-15 is the biggest in ten years.
More and More Traffic
Each year the Department of Transport measure the amount of traffic and average speeds between the months of June and June the following year. This last time period showed an increase of 2.3% of traffic on our roads, this shows the highest increase for ten years with the normal jump being around 1%. Some years actually saw a small drop but it seems 2014-15 has been a bumper year for people hitting the road.
The results have been put down to the economy finally picking up pace again and the drop in fuel prices. It is suggested that people have a little more money and feel able to afford the fuel to do a few more journeys, when you add this up across a nation it makes for quite a few extra cars on the roads. It seems van drivers are really feeling the benefit of the better economic and fuel situation because the number of them on our roads has shown the biggest increase over the last year, traveling 46.3 billion miles on their own.
What This Means
The result of all this extra traffic is pretty obvious, slower journeys and more traffic jams. The average speed on the roads over the last year at peak times has dropped to just 23.8 mph. This figure is for major roads but London roads only reach 15 mph. Some roads, however, will be able to cope as investment allows extra lanes and bypasses. You may not think it in your area if you are seeing the reality of this increase and no investment yet.
Dealing With More Traffic
As you encounter more traffic it becomes more important to be able to cope with it. Traffic jams are not going anywhere and allowing yourself to get stressed and angry in them is not a good idea. There are always lots of tips around to help you cope in what can be a very long and boring situation. Taking food, water and making sure you have lots of entertainment are the keys to a less stressful traffic jam experience.
This situation looks like it will only go one way; more traffic. So there are really only two options. The first is to invest in our roads and keep making them better and a little bigger to cope with the traffic. As this happens the technology around traffic management will get better and things like the Dart Charge system for the Dartford crossing will help keep things moving. The second option is for people to really think about the whether or not they need to make a journey and consider things like car pooling for the trip to work and back. By being mindful that traffic is on the increase you can start effecting it in a positive way by turning 3 cars on a commute into one and have someone people to talk to in a traffic jam too…as long as you like your colleagues that is.