A Department for Transport report published today, though near completely neglecting to mention bicycles, has revealed plenty about the current usage of our roads.
Overall motor vehicle traffic has fallen for the third consecutive year in a row, the first time since records began. This, however, doesn’t appear to have eased traffic, with 2010’s levels 6.2 per cent higher than in 2000.
Despite the decline, the DfT forecast that a ‘longer term trend of traffic growth’ will resume shortly. Citing the National Transport model, the DfT state that by 2035 vehicle traffic will likely be 43 per cent higher than 2003 levels.
Cyclists will not be encouraged by the statistics on vehicle speeds, where the DfT states "The average free flow speed of cars in 2010 on roads with a 40 mph speed limit was 35 mph and on roads with a 30 mph limit it was 30 mph."
Forty nine per cent of cars on motorways were travelling at a speed that exceeded the 70 mph limit.
HGV drivers also showed bad habits with 69 per cent exceeding the 40 mph limit on single carriageway non-built-up roads. Eighteen per cent exceeded the speed limit by 10 mph or more on single carriageway roads.
Nearly £5.8 billion was raised through vehicle excise duty (VED) in 2010/11. About £27.3 billion was raised through fuel tax in 2010/11.
More statistics, including the statement that cycling makes up 1.5 per cent of UK trips daily, can be found within an XLS sheet here. Specific statistics on the means by which people have travelled to and from work, listed by region, are found in documents TSGB0108 and TSGB0109.
A year by year breakdown of transport modes and changing habits can be found here.
Page 32 of this report discusses road casualties. Cyclists made up eight per cent and bus users three per cent of all casualties.
More updates on fuel and biofeul usage and revenues raised, among other things from the report, can be found here.