UK roads: Record car numbers, surging vans, and declining buses

UK roads: Record car numbers, surging vans, and declining buses.

UK roads: Record car numbers, surging vans, and declining buses. Image: National Highways / Facebook.

According to the latest vehicle licensing statistics released by the UK Government, there has been a notable increase in the number of cars on the road.

The number has now reached a record high of nearly 33.6 million.

However, the growth rate of cars over recent years hasn’t kept pace with that of new light goods vehicles (LGVs), including vans, which have seen a significant surge due to the boom in home deliveries.

Since the end of 2014, the number of LGVs has increased by 32 per cent, rising from 3.6 million to 4.7 million, whereas cars have only seen a 10 per cent increase over the same period.

In the last five years, the number of LGVs has risen by 14 per cent, whereas car numbers have gone up by just 3 per cent.

In contrast, the number of buses and coaches on UK roads has declined by 16 per cent since the end of 2014, dropping from nearly 169,000 to 141,300 by the end of last year.

This decline is concerning, especially given the significant investments being made to improve bus travel infrastructure, such as the construction of more bus lanes.

The decrease in bus availability may contribute to the continued reliance on cars for transportation.

On a positive note, the number of diesel vehicles on the roads is at its lowest level since 2015, which is encouraging news for air quality improvement efforts.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.