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Roads and traffic statistics include information about types of roads, their length and condition. Statistics are also presented about the traffic using the roads, including congestion, vehicle speeds and vehicle weights.

Publications

Accessibility Statistics
Department: Transport
Publication describes measures of accessibility by public transport, walking and cycling to seven service types: primary and secondary schools, further education, GPs, hospitals, food shops and employment.
Atlas of Deprivation: England
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Indices of Multiple Deprivation for England combine a number of areas, chosen to cover a range of economic, social and housing issues into a single deprivation score for each Lower Layer Super Output Area in England. The Atlas of Deprivation allows a map visualisation of the overall LSOA deprivation score (rank) and the score (rank) for each of the seven domains by local authority.
Congestion on Local Authority managed "A" roads in England
Department: Transport
This publication contains the latest provisional official statistics on congestion in Local Authority managed "A" roads in England
Congestion on inter-urban roads
Department: Transport
Monthly release presenting average vehicle delay experienced on the slowest ten per cent of journeys on inter-urban roads in England.
Deaths during or following police contact: Statistics for England and Wales
Department: Independent Police Complaints Commission
The report presents figures on deaths during or following police contact which occurred in the reporting year. It provides a definitive set of figures for England and Wales and an overview of the nature and circumstances of these deaths.
Home to School Travel
Department: Environment (Northern Ireland)
The Home to School Travel bulletin provides information on school pupils injured in road traffic collisions whilst travelling to or from school.
Key Scottish Safety Camera Programme Statistics
Department: Scottish Government
Data relating to road traffic collisions, injuries and offences detected at speed and red-light camera sites, operated in Scotland under the auspices of the Scottish Safety Camera Programme.
Learner Travel in Wales
Department: Welsh Government
This statistical bulletin provides relevant statistics to inform the debate and public interest in learner travel in Wales.
Monitoring the National Transport Plan
Department: Welsh Government
This statistical bulletin reports on the monitoring of the National Transport Plan.
Monitoring the Regional Transport Plans
Department: Welsh Government
This Statistical Bulletin is a compilation of statistical indicators, linked to the Welsh Transport Strategy, to monitor the delivery of the four Regional Transport Plans
National Travel Survey
Department: Transport
Report presenting the results of the National Travel Survey, a household survey designed to provide a databank of personal travel information for Great Britain.
Northern Ireland Road and Rail Quarterly Bulletin
Department: Regional Development (Northern Ireland)
The publication contains data relating to vehicle registrations, public transport, petroleum deliveries to NI and driver and vehicle testing.
Northern Ireland Taxi Compliance Check
Department: Environment (Northern Ireland)
This is a report providing information on the biennial Taxi Compliance Check, which is carried out to determine the roadworthiness and traffic compliance of taxis travelling on the roads in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Transport Statistics
Department: Regional Development (Northern Ireland)
The publication contains data relating to vehicle registrations, driver and vehicle testing, road network, road freight, road safety, public transport, air transport and general transport statistics.
Public Attitudes to Roads Network Performance.
Department: Transport
Report presenting people's perceptions of road network performance and attitudes towards measures to improve road network performances.
Public attitudes towards road congestion
Department: Transport
public
Quarterly Road Traffic Estimates
Department: Transport
Quarterly bulletin providing statistics on road traffic  in Great Britain.
Regional Transport Statistics
Department: Transport
Annual publication bringing together a wide range of transport statistics for Great Britain and Northern Ireland at Government Office Region and former Metropolitan county level.
Reliability of journeys on the Highways Agency's motorway and 'A' road network
Department: Transport
This release presents provisional information about the reliability of journeys on the startegic road network.
Reported Road Casualties Great Britain Annual Report
Department: Transport
The Annual Report provides detailed analyses of reported road casualties and reports on trends in relation to casualty reduction targets.
Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain : Provisional Estimates for Accidents And Casualties Involving Illegal Alcohol Levels
Department: Transport
This statistical release provides provisional estimates for reported road casualties and accidents involving illegal alcohol levels
Road Conditions in England
Department: Transport
Report giving annual statistics on the conditions of public roads, footways, kerbs and verges in England.
Road Conditions in Wales
Department: Welsh Assembly Government
This Statistical Bulletin reports on the available information about the condition of public roads in Wales.
Road Length Statistics
Department: Transport
This publication gives road lengths in Great Britain.
Road Lengths and Conditions in Wales
Department: Welsh Government
The Statistical Bulletin includes information by road class, motorway, A trunk and country roads.
Road Statistics: Traffic, Speeds and Congestion
Department: Transport
Annual bulletin providing a detailed breakdown of statistics related to traffic, speeds and congestion.
Road Traffic Statistics for Local Authorities
Department: Transport
Tables compiled to provide estimates of total motor vehicle traffic (including cars), and car traffic only, for local authorities in Great Britain.
Road Traffic in Wales
Department: Welsh Government
The Statistical Bulletin includes information on volume of traffic and daily flow of vehicles.
Roads Service Customer Satisfaction Report
Department: Regional Development (Northern Ireland)
How satisfied customers are of the services provided by Roads Service in Northern Ireland
Scottish Transport Statistics
Department: Scottish Government
A wide-ranging compendium of statistics on many aspects of transport.
Statistics on Commuting in Wales
Department: Welsh Government
Presents statistics on commuting patterns in Wales for employees or people self-employed.
Transport Statistics, Great Britain
Department: Transport
Annual report bringing together the full range of transport statistics and is the main general statistical reference source for transport in Great Britain.
Transport Statistics, Wales
Department: Welsh Government
Provides a wide range of statistics on transport and transport related topics for Wales.
Transport Trends, Great Britain
Department: Transport
Publication presenting an overview and analysis of trends in transport and travel in Great Britain over the past 25 years.
Transport Trends, Scotland
Department: Scottish Government
Provides summary figures on road vehicles, traffic, accidents, toll bridges, bus and rail passengers, road and rail freight, air and water transport, personal travel and comparisons with GB.
Travel Survey for Northern Ireland
Department: Regional Development (Northern Ireland)
The publication contains data on trends in personal travel, how people travel, why people travel and other factors affecting travel.

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Overview

Road and traffic statistics include:

  • road condition, covering conditions and maintenance of public roads in England

  • road traffic, covering estimates of traffic volume and flow in Great Britain

  • road congestion estimates of urban and inter-urban congestion in England, including monitoring the Public Service Agreement measures on congestion

  • road lengths in Great Britain

  • speed of road vehicles

  • vehicle weights

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Technical Data

Information is collected and derived as follows:

  • Road condition statistics are derived from a range of surveys covering conditions and maintenance costs of public roads in England

Road traffic statistics are derived from two data sources:

  • Manual traffic counts - manual counts are conducted on one day per year in each location

  • Automatic Traffic Counters (ATCs) - a national network of around 240 Automatic Traffic Counters (ATCs) collect data continuously. In addition to counting traffic, the ATCs also record some of the physical properties (such as length and number of axles) of passing vehicles. These properties are used to classify traffic by type and vehicle speeds

Inter-urban road congestion is estimated using journey time data from inductive loops in the road surface, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and global positioning system (GPS) units in vehicles.

Urban congestion data are derived from vehicles equipped with GPS devices, such as satellite navigation systems. In large urban areas, these are supplemented by surveys of vehicle counts, vehicle occupancy and bus journey times on selected routes.

Road lengths are derived from Ordnance Survey digital maps of the road network and information from Local Highways Authorities.

There are two types of speed data:

  • Free flow speed data - free flow speed data is obtained from the network of around 100 automatic traffic counters (ATCs), which are sited as far as possible at points where traffic is not congested. These free flow speeds give important information on compliance with speed limits
  • Average speed data - average speed data are derived from the same sources on journey times as those used for urban and inter-urban congestion data. The sources replaced the 'floating car' surveys used previously

Vehicle weight data are collected from around 25 automatic traffic counters on motorways and trunk roads in England and Scotland. These data are collected as vehicles pass over axle sensors in the road and each axle is weighed and recorded for every vehicle.

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Glossary

  • All purpose trunk roads

    Centrally owned and maintained A roads.

  • Annual Average Daily Flow (AADF)

    The average over a full year of the number of vehicles passing a point in the road network each day.

  • A roads

    These are often described as ‘main’ roads and tend to have heavy traffic flows though not as high as motorways.

  • Average person journey time per mile

    The average time it takes a person to travel one mile on the routes monitored for the urban congestion Public Service Agreement (PSA) target, during the morning peak, but not including school holidays. Includes passengers of cars, LGVs, HGVs, minibuses, coaches and stopping buses.

  • Average vehicle delay

    The difference between observed journey times and a reference journey time (the time that could be achieved when the traffic is free flowing) for the routes monitored on the inter-urban road network in England.

  • Average vehicle journey time per mile

    The average time it takes a non-stopping vehicle to travel one mile on the routes monitored for the urban congestion Public Service Agreement (PSA) target, during the morning peak, excluding school holidays. Includes cars, LGVs, HGVs, minibuses and coaches.

  • Best Value Performance Indicator (BVPI)

    Best Value Performance Indicators (BVPIs) show the relative performance of English local authorities for different aspects of performance.

  • B roads

    B roads are numbered local routes, which have lower traffic densities than the main trunk roads, or A roads. The classification has nothing to do with the width or quality of the physical road.

  • Built-up roads

    These roads have a speed limit of 40 mph or less (whether there are buildings or not). This definition was originally introduced to identify roads in built-up areas. However, there has been an increase in the adoption of speed limits of 40 mph or less in rural areas in recent years. As a result, the new classification of roads as urban or rural has been adopted for traffic estimates from 1993.

  • Buses and coaches

    Public service vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight greater than 3,500 kg.

  • Carriageway

    The paved area of the highway carrying vehicular traffic and including any hard shoulder and marginal strips.

  • Cars and taxis

    Includes passenger vehicles with nine or fewer seats, three-wheeled cars and four wheel-drive ‘sports utility vehicles.’ Cars towing caravans or trailers are counted as one vehicle.

  • Classified roads

    Local authority owned and maintained roads with A, B or C classification.

  • C roads

    Local classified roads that are not marked with, or given a number. They generally have lower traffic densities than B roads.

  • Design, build, finance and operate (DBFO)

    Design, build, finance and operate. Usually used for major road schemes to denoted schemes where the private sector is charged with designing, building and operating the road with the Highways Agency paying for it to be used.

  • Equivalence Factor (for road wear)

    The pavement damaging effect of an axle in relation to the damage created by a standard axle. The equivalence factor for a vehicle is the sum of the equivalence factors for each of its axles. The equivalence factor for each axle can be calculated using the formula: EF = (axle load in tonnes/8.16).

  • Footway

    Any area alongside a road intended for use by pedestrians. A footway is often described as either a pavement or as a footpath alongside a road.

  • Heavy goods vehicles (HGV)

    Any goods vehicles over 3,500 kg gross vehicle weight. Includes road rollers, box vans and similar large vans as well as articulated goods vehicles and agricultural tractors. Two-axle motor tractive unit without trailer are also included.

  • Inductive loop

    Inductive loops are placed in a road to detect vehicles as they pass over the loop by measuring the vehicle’s magnetic field.

  • Light vans

    Goods vehicles up to and including 3,500 kgs gross vehicle weight. Includes all car-based vans and those of larger carrying capacity, such as transit vans. Also included are ambulances, pickups and milk floats.

  • Local roads

    Local authority maintained A, B, C and unclassified roads. These are also known as non-trunk roads.

  • Major roads

    Include motorways and A roads. These roads usually have high traffic flows and are often the main routes to major destinations.

  • Minor roads

    These are B and C roads and unclassified roads. These are all maintained by the local authorities.

  • Motorways

    Major roads often used for long distance travel. They are usually high capacity roads that can take high speed motor traffic safely. Certain traffic, such as bicycles, is not allowed access. There are usually three or more lanes in each direction and they generally have the maximum speed limit of 70mph. Motorways are usually designated by M on the road sign such as M1, M4, M8, or A48(M).

  • Non built-up roads

    All roads with a speed limit of 40mph or more. For the purpose of road traffic statistics, this classification has now been replaced by the distinction between urban and rural roads. This is due to the number of roads outside urban areas which have designated speed limits of 40 mph or less.

  • Pavement

    Technical term for the carriageway of a road. Note this is not a footway.

  • Person miles

    The amount of travel that takes place on the routes monitored for the urban congestion Public Service Agreement (PSA) target, during the morning peak, but not including school holidays. Includes passengers of cars, LGVs, HGVs, minibuses, coaches and stopping buses.

  • Principal roads

    Major roads are maintained by local authorities. These are mainly A roads, though some local authorities do have responsibility for some motorways.

  • Rural roads

    Roads outside areas with a population of 10,000 or more (see Urban roads).

  • Sideway-force Coefficient Routine Investigation Machine (SCRIM)

    A lorry-based machine that measures the resistance to skidding of the wet pavement surface, when driven over a pavement surface.

  • Standard axle

    A vehicle axle with a load of 8.16 tonnes.

  • Strategic Road Network (SRN)

    Consists of motorways and trunk A roads (dual and single carriageway) in England that are managed by the Highways Agency, including the M6 Toll. All major roads in London are managed by Transport for London (TfL).

  • Surface Condition Assessment of the National Network of Roads (SCANNER)

    Vehicle-mounted automated pavement surface condition surveys for local authority roads based on the Traffic Speed Condition Survey (TRACS) surveys used on the trunk road network.

  • Trunk roads

    Most motorways and many of the long distance rural A roads are trunk roads. The responsibility for their maintenance lies with the Secretary of State for Transport. They are managed by the Highways Agency in England, the Welsh Assembly Government in Wales and the Scottish Government in Scotland (National Through Routes).

  • Two-wheeled motor vehicles

    Includes motorcycles with sidecars, scooters and mopeds.

  • Unclassified roads

    Minor roads which are not designated as classified roads and which are owned and maintained by a local highway authority. Some 60 per cent of the local authority network is unclassified.

  • Urban roads

    Major and minor roads within an urban area with a population of 10,000 or more. The urban area definition is based on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) definition of Urban Settlements which uses 2001 Census data. The urban settlements have not been updated from the 2001 populations.

  • Vehicle kilometre

    One vehicle times one kilometre travelled (vehicle kilometres are calculated by multiplying the Annual Average Daily Flow (AADF) by the corresponding length of road). For example, 1 vehicle travelling 1 kilometre a day for a year would be 365 vehicle kilometres. This is sometimes known as the volume of traffic.

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Contact Details

For statistical enquiries about this topic, please contact:

Jim Owen

Email: roadtraff.stats@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7944 2122

Statistics Roads & Freight Department for Transport 3/28 Great Minster House 33 Horseferry Road London SW1P 4DR

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