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Road Traffic

Transport written question – answered on 24th November 2011.

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Photo of Dan Rogerson Dan Rogerson Liberal Democrat, North Cornwall

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which Highways Agency controlled A-roads see the biggest increase in traffic during the summer.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport

At a national level, traffic on the strategic road network, including both motorways and A-roads, tends to follow a consistent annual pattern. Starting from the lowest levels of traffic during December, levels then rise gradually, month on month, to a summer peak during July and August, before slowly declining again through to December.

Traffic on individual routes, however, is subject to different levels of seasonal change. Comparing the combined traffic levels for the summer months of June, July and August, for 'Highways Agency-controlled A-roads', with the preceding three months of March, April and May, the routes which experienced the greatest percentage increases in vehicle miles travelled (VMT) are shown in the following table:

  VMT      
Road March to May June to August Increase Percentage increase Rank
A30 296,319,601 359,728,530 63,408,929 21 1
A303 220,000,697 251,898,755 31,898,058 14 2
A120 83,734,035 93,645,820 9,911,784 12 3
A494 10,490,386 11,614,209 1,123,823 11 4
A696 6,389,445 7,057,473 668,028 10 (1)5
A35 76,465,938 84,227,753 7,761,815 10 (1)
A31 113,486,280 124,709,656 11,223,376 10 (1)
A458 8,715,964 9,548,557 832,593 10 (1)
(1) Indicates a brace.

If, however, the ranking is based on actual vehicle miles travelled rather than percentage increases, the pattern is somewhat different:

  VMT      
Road March to May June to August Increase Percentage increase Rank
A30 296,319,601 359,728,530 63,408,929 21 1
A1 714,657,865 766,531,909 51,874,044 7 2
A303 220,000,697 251,898,755 31,898,058 14 3
A34 301,295,002 328,674,164 27,379,163 9 4
A14 540,486,628 565,139,730 24,653,102 5 5

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