Commuter congestion rising on local A road network

February 18 2015  

Commuter congestion rising on local A road network

Morning commuters are suffering from declining average traffic speeds on England’s local A roads, according to latest statistics released by the Department for Transport.

The DfT reports that the average speed on these roads during the weekday morning peak was 24.1MPH for the year ending December 2014. This marks a 0.7% decrease compared to the 12 months ending September 2014 and continues a trend of falling speeds since March 2012.

DfT’s report suggests that a combination of increases in levels of traffic on the A road network and intermittent periods of high rainfall are likely to have contributed to the drop in speeds observed.

The AA's head of public affairs Paul Watters said: “Clearly these figures show that as the economy moves from recession to recovery traffic continues to grow on roads that are often not adapted or adaptable to meet extra demand.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams added: “Increasing traffic volumes can be a good indicator of economic performance, but falling average speeds can mean that roads are not coping well enough with the number of vehicles using them which could, in turn, be detrimental to business and motorists in general.”

The figures show that the trend of declining average speeds during the weekday morning peak spans most regions in England. London experienced the greatest fall in average speeds (4.5%), followed by the South West (2.7%) between the years ending December 2013 and December 2014.

♦ Other figures released by the DfT last week show that 78.6% of journeys on the Highways Agency’s network were ‘on time’ in the year ending December 2014 – a 0.3% increase compared to the year ending September 2014.

(Photo: Thomas190)

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