Road traffic flows

Introduction 

This short article details figures from the Department for Transport that show road traffic flows by millions of vehicle kilometres. The results are based on a census of all major roads, and estimates for minor roads. They form part of a selection of road traffic statistics published on the Department for Transport website.

Please also see the traffic flow web pages that have statistics for the Lancashire-12 area, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool. The web links also include access to the detailed yearly data for hundreds of traffic count points in the Lancashire-14 area. The figures are in vehicle miles for various classes of motor vehicles and pedal cycles, and therefore represent a different form of measure to the flows results in table 1.

The national, regional and local context     

Table 1 has estimated traffic flows for England, the North West, and the Lancashire area from 1993 to 2017. After a period of constant growth, when vehicle kilometres in England increased by 23.9% between 1993 and 2007, the 2008/09 economic slowdown impacted on the results. From a previous high of 433,021 million kilometres in 2007, there was a pattern of marginal decline in England in 2008 and 2010, and then little change to 2013. The outturns from 2014 to 2017 however show steady increases to reach a new record of 449,643 million kilometres. The 2016 figures have been revised down for all areas in Table 1.

The Lancashire-14 area in 2017 saw its vehicle kilometre figure fall back to 12,667 million kilometres, from a peak in 2016.

Table 1. Estimated traffic flows for all motor vehicles, 1993 to 2017 (millions of vehicle kilometres)

Year Lancashire-12 Blackburn with Darwen Blackpool Lancashire-14 North West England
1993 9,181 615 540 10,336 46,518 355,306
1994 9,357 624 544 10,525 47,375 363,157
1995 9,551 637 552 10,740 48,387 370,167
1996 9,781 650 558 10,989 49,601 379,944
1997 9,954 664 560 11,178 50,678 387,799
1998 10,181 670 565 11,416 51,661 395,057
1999 10,434 670 574 11,678 52,475 402,518
2000 10,266 677 568 11,511 52,424 402,030
2001 10,379 672 574 11,625 53,214 407,647
2002 10,670 687 581 11,938 54,250 416,369
2003 10,631 689 572 11,892 54,531 418,481
2004 10,986 706 575  12,267 55,602 424,408
2005 10,956 715 572  12,243 55,247 424,376
2006 11,109 706 550  12,365 55,778 429,593
2007 11,032 730 557  12,319 56,026 433,021
2008 11,051 714 556 12,321 55,572 428,494
2009 11,002 700 551 12,253 55,407 424,402
2010 10,892 697 539 12,128 54,339 417,767
2011 10,953 700 541 12,194 54,677 418,866
2012 10,732 694 537 11,963 54,204 417,051
2013 10,879 703 525 12,107 54,335 418,255
2014 11,113 723 536 12,372 55,566 428,215
2015 11,374 727 537 12,638 56,282 436,281
2016* 11,434 727 536 12,697 56,838 444,388
2017 11,441 696 530 12,667 56,893 449,643

Source Department for Transport: Road Traffic Statistics for Local Authorities Table TRA8904. * Revised figures for 2016.   

Page updated July 2018