New figures show congestion was up for December 2017

28 February 2018

Figures released today show average speed limits reduced and journey times increased on A roads and motorways during December 2017, compared to the same time the previous year.

The Department for Transport tables look at a number of measures, including ‘average delay’ which is calculated by seconds per vehicle mile.  This rose to 9.7 seconds per mile for December 2017, compared to 9 seconds in December 2016.

Average speed on A roads and motorways in December 2017 reduced too from 59.3 mph in December 2016 to 58.6 mph in December 2017.

When calculating journey times for December 2017, motorists needed to allow 72% extra time compared to a journey in free flowing traffic, in order to reach their destination on time.  This was in contrast to 69% in December 2016.

Motorcycle Industry Association CEO Tony Campbell said:

“Congestion is rising incrementally and in the light of these latest figures, opting to commute on a powered two wheeler looks particularly attractive.  Motorcycles and scooters tend to move through congested traffic in the same time you would expect to travel in free-flowing traffic. That means journey times are quicker and more easily predicted.

“The solution is to factor powered two wheelers into transport policy.  Encouraging just 10% of car drivers to swap to a motorcycle or scooter could reduce congestion for all road users by 40%.”
To see how effective motorcycles and scooters are in rush hour traffic, see this series of 'City Challenges' recorded in some of the UK's worst affected cities.

Statistics are taken from tables:

  • CGN1402: Average delay on the Strategic Road Network in England: monthly and year ending from April 2015        
  • CGN0401: Average speed on the Strategic Road Network in England: monthly and year ending from April 2015                                                                                      
  • CGN 0403: Reliability of travel times on the Strategic Road Network in England: monthly and year ending from April 2015

For further details or to arrange interviews with Tony Campbell, contact Polly Fenn on 02476 408000 or email

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