Fuel costs price drivers off the road

  • People are using their cars less as price of fuel rises 
  • Lowest number of cars on the road since 2005
  • Fall in total vehicle traffic across the UK

The UK road network is at its quietest since early 2005, according to the latest figures from the Department for Transport.

The fall in people using their cars matches the huge rise in the cost of petrol and diesel over the past 12 months.  

The Department for Transport report calculates the total volume of traffic on UK roads each quarter by working out the number of kilometres travelled by an average vehicle each year. So a car covering ten kilometres every day for a year would equal 3650 vehicle kilometres – or 2268 miles – and so on.

Compared to a total car traffic volume of 250 billion miles last year, this figure decreased to 246 billion miles in the past three months.

With 31 million cars registered in the UK, this means that, on average, each car travelled 130 miles less between May and June this year than in the same period in 2007.


Alternative transport

But with car traffic on the decline, the number of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, as well as larger buses and coaches, on our roads has climbed for the sixth consecutive quarter to reach an all-time high.

And with the price of petrol and diesel hitting record levels this year, it’s no wonder that drivers are covering fewer miles in their cars and finding cheaper ways to travel. 

This continued rise demonstrates that some drivers are leaving their cars at home and looking for more affordable modes of transport instead. Have you swapped your car for something cheaper?

With fewer car drivers using major motorways, A-roads and minor urban routes, the average time spent in traffic jams has fallen too – down by 2.3% on the slowest journeys and 0.7% overall.