UK road congestion at its worst level for 10 years

Published: 18 March 2015

UK road congestion at its worst level for 10 years
The FTA have recently released their ‘Quarterly Transport Activity Survey (QTAS) which reveals that congestion on UK roads is at its worst level in over 10 years.

The survey illustrates that the reliability of the UK road network has deteriorated at a rate of 55%, this is the lowest it has been since 2002 and due to the increased traffic in the run up to Christmas.

The results from the survey, which has been compiled from over 100 logistics operators across the UK, are seen as an indication of the impact of the increase in domestic road haulage activity levels and further highlight the rate of decline in the reliability of the country’s road network.

Other notable findings from the FTA’s QTAS:
  • Most industry sectors are expecting robust growth in domestic road haulage activity in Q1 of 2015.
  • Growth in road haulage activity levels is expected across most regions in Q1 2015.
  • Concerns raised over the ‘driver shortage crisis’ in Q1 2015 as HGV driver vacancies prove most difficult posts to fill, with nearly a third of companies surveyed reporting long delays in recruitment.
  • Insolvencies in the road haulage sector in Q4 2014 remain at pre-recession levels and 60% lower than at the peak of the recession.
  •  Weak economic growth in the Euro area, paired with increasing strength of Sterling against the Euro, is expected to ease international activity in Q1 2015.
Karen Dee, the FTA’s director of policy, said: “This FTA Survey is a clear indication that congestion on our roads has increased again, and drivers are getting stuck in traffic on a regular basis. 

Reliability on the UK road network is crucial for road freight operators.

The freight and logistics industry needs road infrastructure that it can rely on to ensure that products are moved efficiently and at reasonable cost. 

As the economy grows there will be increasing demands which will mean more pressure to deliver and more vehicles on the roads – so it is only going to get worse.”

The results of the recent survey have reinforced the FTA’s support of the DfT’s ‘Road Investment Strategy’ (RIS) which was announced in December and their belief that it ‘’can only be a good thing for all road users’’

The RIS outlines plans for £15 billion to be spent over the next five years on 100 new road schemes including 1,300 new lane miles on motorways and trunk roads in order to reduce congestion and fix some of the most notorious and longstanding problem areas on the UK road network.

This funding however does not include the estimated £11 billion required to fix the potholes that currently hindering the UK’s road network.
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