posted 4 years ago

Ever Wondered Why Britain’s Roads Are So Busy?

New Government statistics could shed light on issue of crammed roads

Newly-released Government statistics reveal that the DVLA holds details of 45.5 million driving licence holders in Great Britain – the equivalent of a driving licence record for seven out of every 10 people.

Perhaps shedding light on the reason why the country’s roads are increasingly congested, the data released following a Freedom of Information request suggests that 70% of Great Britain’s 63,500,000 population has a driving licence.

The number of drivers who voluntarily surrendered their licence in the 12 months up to and including December 2014 was 29,950.

During the same period, 48,941 drivers had their licence revoked or refused.

Busier roads

The DVLA said it did not hold statistics on the number of Road Traffic Collisions that have been attributed to medically unfit drivers.

According to one report from the Office for National Statistics, the UK population is expected to reach 70 million by 2028.

Separate Government statistics reveal that 695,580 people passed their driving test in England, Scotland and Wales in 2013/14.

Clearly, the roads are only going to get busier.


I notice comments about the Usual too many lorries too many people ! ! Why not Too Many university TwAT MPs . Living in the USA in 1958 anyone saw that every teenagers thought was - OWN a. CAR ! ! Yet Britain spent Billions Saving Germany , drug addicts, Dole - itice's, instead of building a Transportation system Here. Shame on All MPs

Whilst I accept there are a lot of people using their cars, one thing that has not been mentioned is the increase of Large Goods Vehicles (LGV's) Dover Docks and Eurotunnel are expanding their facilities to cope with even more lgv's congesting our roads. Surely greater effort should be made to get freight on to the rail network and whrever practicable on to our canals. Furthermore I believe that an analysis into what exactly we are importing would be helpful because with the increase in labour costs in places like China there may be a business opportunity to bring some of the manufacturing back to Britain. This has happened in America but the fracking gas has helped with lower manufacturing costs.

I have to strongly disagree with Fred Murray regarding Electric Vehicles. I bought a Nissan Leaf last year. It's the best and most enjoyable car I've ever had. It was no more expensive (after the government grant) than any comparable car. It's a delight to drive, quiet, comfortable and with plenty of ooomph should you need it. I charge it at home with a wall mounted charge point and it costs peanuts. Last month £15.00, this month £10.00 and I do about 1,000 miles a month. So EV's are not horrendous at all. I can't imagine me ever going back to and ICE car. I would however agree that we do have a congestion problem, which could have been envisioned 50 years ago and has been exacerbated by the decisions and designs of roads by many local councils. Motorists are in the majority so why do pedestrians and cyclists get preferential treatment and we get the sticky end of the stick. Beats me.

Really interesting debate with some great ideas. I cannot agree with the comment about everyone having the right to drive though, surely it's a privilege & shouldn't be taken for granted. To me it just makes sense to work close to where you live if possible. People commuting vast distances have my sympathy but are missing a trick. Not everyone can find work on their doorstep but if you can, you save time, stress and a heap of money. Keeping business local reduces costs since clients aren't paying travel costs & non-productive labour and the business is more competitive.

All the drivers you see on tv driving dangerously to get away from police should have their licences revoked and NEVER given another one, they have clearly demonstrated that they are not responsible enough to drive. Irrational behaviour could be dealt with under a medical ban.

In a word 'overpopulation'. It's the root of all our problems including NHS waiting times, shortage of school places, hosing shortage, prison overcrowding etc. etc. etc.

The government has a plan to alleviate road congestion it's called CO2 emissions,yes it's a complete scam,it's lies,but this is the way they are going about it by bringing in electric cars (EVs)they are expensive and horrendous to run,the government knows this,when they eventually outlaw fossil fuels it will put most drivers of the road.The EU wants combustion engines to be history by 2050 that means by 2030 they will introduce new taxes to cover the loss of motorists of 50%,the rest will quickly disappear by the 2040s. The CO2 scam is not about congestion though it's about mobility and control,if a nation is not mobile it's easier to control.Rail transport is horrendously expensive and slow,road transport is by far the most economical and fastest way to deliver goods.I ordered goods which was 350 miles delivery,I ordered the item at 2pm and received item next day around 2pm.

Everyone wants the independence a car can give. Everyone has the right to drive. I drive in connection with my job and work alone. I live 2 miles from the motorway and this can take anything from 4 minutes to 45 minutes. On my journey, I see probably 95% of vehicles with only the driver present. If all people who work at the same office and live in the same local, give or take a couple of miles, why don't they share? As I said at the start, everyone wants to drive. But with a little thought and the local councils re programming the traffic lights, the congestion would reduce significantly. In Greater Manchester, ( in the City of Salford), we are experiencing major road works to build a "guided bus route" along the A580-East Lancashire Road. This is a main arterial road into Manchester, yet the council traffic department thought it was a good idea to carry out these works at the same time as the works on the M60. Also, at the end of the A580, at the A6 at Salford, the council struck again. This time, leaving only 1 lane for cars and another for busses. They even reduced the width of the road to " give a sense of Paris and the Champs eleyse. Needless to say, it isn't working. This 7 mile journey, starting at 07:15, takes Upto 1 hour!

The government wants road congestion and every time a vehicle has to make unnecessary stops or slow to an inefficient speed they leap up and down and rub their hands with glee at the thought of all that extra back-door tax income they are creating. The government aren't going to do anything to reduce congestion except where life and limb are factors and probably not even then if it is too expensive and they could be even be actively making things worse. Cameron especially doesn't care how inefficient this country becomes... One day they will regret not carrying out the social engineering and the investment in our infrastructure that should have been done decades ago to streamline this country's infrastructure and make it run at peak efficiency. One day they will regret not expanding and modernising our canals in order to get none-perishables off our roads and onto canal and river barges and coastal boats. The railways should be carrying much of the remainder; rail is the most fuel-efficient form of transport after all. Governments are only concerned with the period between now and the next election but this country needs major investment now that probably won't show appreciable results for one, two or even three decades.

Well said Michael Savage, apart from comment about postcode taxing. Friend has a town postcode, but lives 1200 feet above sea level & 2 miles from a Bus route. This time of year, couldn't manage without his 4/4. As for Rob Langham, with family spread from Scotland to Brussels, when working I used to do 20K for work & 20K private!

Most people drive the volume of miles they do in a year because of their job - to suggest people get in their cars and drive around just for the sake of it is ludicrous. If where I live (Reading) is typical most urban traffic congestion is caused by poor driving and abysmal traffic management. I sometimes wonder if the person responsible for the traffic light sequencing in Reading has ever driven a car in his/her life!

Cows farting pollutes more each year than our vehicles do. Most congestion I find on the roads is our stupid rules on only overtaking on the right. If we adopt the American way and allow overtaking in any lane that will solve 90% of the traffic congestion I come across. Lorries should only be allowed to use lane 1 between the hrs 7am and 7pm like on some roads in Europe makes a lot of sense. It takes far too long for a lorry limited to 56 trying to overtake another lorry limited to 56!! We should change our tax rules to postcode tax, I have no choice to have a 4x4 due to living on a farm down a track. If I lived in a town or city, I wouldn't need a car and could use public transport. So raise the tax for city people thus cutting vehicles maybe or at least raising money to pay to widen roads or pay for better public transport. Public transport is too expensive because it is owned by private companies wanting to make a profit. Nationalise them and reduce public transport tickets.

Well Mr Langham doesn't live in a rural community, obviously. I commute 80 miles at around 45mpg and I easily exceed 12k but I don't have an issue with congestion but I do with a complete lack of public transport! Better solution, everyone takes a test every 5 years to prove they are a competent driver and watch the number of drivers drop like a stone based on some of the habits I see daily. At the end of the day we drive missiles that are capable of killing people so why shouldn't our competency be checked regularly.

Totally agree with R Langham's comments. What a great idea. Restrict vehicles to a specific maximum distance every year depending on what they are used for. If there are objections I'm sure the government would happily charge an environment tax for every mile over the limit! (But) It should only be used for planting trees not paying MPs expenses.

If you look at cars for sale on Autotrader, you will find one year old cars with 50 - 60 thousand miles on the clock. That is just unreasonable & frankly selfish. Private cars should be limited to 12000 miles per annum, company cars say 25000 & similar for company vans with an exception for delivery vehicles. Too many people are clogging up the roads for no good reason. It is expensive, unhealthy & bad for the environment.

If you look at cars for sale on Autotrader, yoh will find one year old cars with 50 - 60 thousand miles on the clock. That is just unreasonable & frankly selfish. Private cars should be limited to 120000 miles per annum, company cars say 250000 & similar for company vans with an exception for delivery vehicles. Too many people are clogging up the roads for no good reason. It is expensive, unhealthy & bad for the environment.