Road Freight

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 16th October 2006.

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Photo of Iris Robinson Iris Robinson DUP, Strangford

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many road freight journeys are expected to be made in Northern Ireland in each of the next 10 years; and how many such journeys are estimated to have been made in each of the last three years.

Photo of David Cairns David Cairns Parliamentary Under-Secretary (also Scotland Office), Scotland Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (also Scotland Office), Northern Ireland Office

The Chief Executive of Roads Service Dr. Malcolm McKibbin has written to the hon. Lady in response to this question.

Letter from Dr. Malcolm McKibbin, dated 16 October 2006:

We have consulted with officials in other Departments and elsewhere within the Department for Regional Development, but unfortunately the information that you requested is not held. Roads Service does however carry out a vehicle kilometres of travel (VKT) survey each year to estimate the total distance travelled by vehicles on Northern Ireland's road network. This provides a measure of the usage of the various roads and facilitates a direct comparison with the rest of the United Kingdom and other European Countries.

The following table lists the estimated total distance travelled by each of the five different categories of vehicle during the past three years.

VKT 2003 2004 2005
Class 1 - Cars and Vans 15,970 16,751 16,916
Class 2 - Medium Commercial 1,061 1,002 992
Class 3 - Heavy Commercial 734 655 665
Class 4 - Articulated Commercial 423 385 392
Class 5 - Bus and Coach 60 60 58
Total 18,248 18,853 19,023

With regard to estimating future road freight journeys no formal forecast exists. However within Roads Service we use transport models to develop traffic forecasts to enable us to assess the viability of proposed road schemes.

From the information we have available I can advise that our forecasts for the growth of all road traffic journeys indicates that the growth rate will fall to under 2 per cent. per annum by 2012.

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