The Department For Transport keep all kinds of statistics and I guess that’s so Government can decide what they need to do to keep us all moving, or perhaps cynically, can decide what we are doing now, that they can charge us for in the future.
The DFT have just released some preliminary findings for the first quarter of 2010 and to get a comparison, they have looked at the same period in 2009 (along with an on-going load of stats for previous years).
The figures are still estimates and the final figures will not be published until 2011, but at least they give us an indication of what’s going on.
They found that:- (compared to Q1 2009)
- Total traffic on motorways decreased by 2 per cent.
- Total traffic on rural ‘A’ roads decreased by 2 per cent.
- Total traffic on urban ‘A’ roads was unchanged
- Total traffic on minor rural roads decreased by 3 per cent.
- Total traffic on minor urban roads decreased by 3 per cent.
- All motor vehicle traffic was 2.1 per cent lower
- Car traffic decreased by 3 per cent
- Light van traffic increased by 2 per cent
- Heavy goods vehicle traffic decreased by 1 per cent
Removing the effects of snowfall from both Q1 2009 and Q1 2010, it is estimated that the fall in overall levels would not have been as great (by around 1 percentage point).
The research also found that delays on major roads dropped from 3.9 minutes per 10 miles to 3.65 minutes (so that’s 2.5 minutes saved on a 100 mile journey!). They also found that the average journey time of 3 minutes 34 seconds per mile on urban roads remained the same (and unless my maths is wrong, and that equates to around 16.82mph)
In 2009, cars accounted for 79 per cent of all motor vehicle traffic. Light vans accounted for 14 per cent, up from 13 per cent in 2008. Heavy goods vehicles accounted 5 per cent, down from 6 per cent the previous year.
I don’t know what all these statistics mean, but I guess those that want them, will try and prove their point by manipulating them to prove the point they are looking to make, but what I do know is that there is a heck of a lot of statistics in the interim report and I guess there will be even more in the full report and we as taxpayers are picking up the tab for its production.
Are these statistics a waste of money, truth is, I don’t know, but if you want to get some value for money, well go to the DFT website and download it, maybe even print it out, take it with you and read it, next time you are stuck in traffic!