The volume of traffic has increased by 14% in Britain during the last decade, say the Department for Transport. Motorists travelled 513 billion kilometres last year, a 1.1% increase over 2006.
During 2007 86% of traffic was in England; Scotland carried 9% and Wales 6%. Motorways transported approximately 20% of traffic and 'A' roads 44%. Smaller routes handled the rest.
Cars account for the largest share of traffic travelling 404 billion kilometres. Vans travelled 68.2 billion, and heavy goods vehicles 29.4 billion. Foreign registered vehicles account for approximately 1 kilometre in every 215 travelled.
Traffic estimates are calculated from data collected by automated traffic counters. There are also 10,000 manual counts per annum. Indications are that the volume of traffic will continue to increase. The government has responded with a £6 billion proposal to modernise the network.