Half of drivers think congestion has worsened in the past year

Written by Ellie

Congestion on Britain’s major roads has gotten worse in the past year, according to more than half of the motorists surveyed for the RAC’s 2017 Report on Motoring.

Of the 1,727 drivers surveyed for the annual study, 56 per cent said traffic has increased on motorways, high-speed dual carriageways and A-roads.

This is especially concerning because two-thirds of all motor vehicle miles are travelled on these kinds of roads, despite them making up only 13 per cent of Britain’s road network length.

Motorways carry a fifth of all UK road traffic but account for just one per cent of UK roads and it’s these roads that have suffered the greatest increase in the last year, according to six in ten of the survey’s respondents. More than a quarter of these people (27 per cent) claimed the change has been considerable.

Away from major routes, urban B-roads and unclassified urban roads are also thought to have become busier and less reliable in terms of journey times by 55 per cent of respondents.

Only country B-roads and unclassified country roads have not got any worse, with 58 per cent saying traffic levels stayed the same.


The RAC’s 2017 Report on Motoring also asked drivers to list their biggest motoring-related concerns and right at the top was the illegal use of handheld mobile phones at the wheel, followed by the condition and maintenance of local roads and the cost of fuel.

Insurance costs were also a major worry, as was traffic congestion and slower journey times, especially among those who drive for work, with 11 per cent of business drivers identifying this as their top concern.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “With unwelcome evidence of increased congestion, it is essential that the schemes to increase capacity of the strategic road network which form part of the first Road Investment Strategy are delivered to plan.”

Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, added: “Tackling congestion will go some way to improving air quality in town and city centres. As such, councils should be considering every possible measure to improve urban traffic flow and average speeds.”

Photo: VISION4RY-L4NGU4GE/iStock

Posted on 15th November 2017

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