Motoring experts are urging the Government to up its investment in Britain’s roads after official figures showed there are now more than 35 million licensed vehicles using them.
The Government data shows there were 35.03 million vehicles with licenses in the UK at the close of last year – of which 29.14 million were cars; 3.35 million were vans and 1.22 million were motorcycles.
The total also included tractors, taxis and diggers among other types of road-worthy vehicles.
Car accident fears
A higher volume of vehicles suggests more congestion and an increased risk of road traffic accidents, while the RAC says it is vital that the road network remains fit for purpose.
The end of 2013 total shows a significant increase on the 2012 figures of 34.52 million vehicles. But this isn’t unexpected, as the numbers have risen in each of the last 20 years since there were 25.23 million in 1994.
According to the statistics there are more than 7 million cars registered to addresses in south east of England and London, including 2.54 million in the capital itself. There are just over 3 million cars in the east of England.
The lowest total per region is in the North East where just over a million cars are licensed. Scotland and Wales have totals of 2.31 million and 1.46 million respectively.
Londoners least likely to have cars
London’s total is the lowest in terms of vehicles per head, largely due to its extensive systems of public transport and the Congestion Charge. Compared to the South West where there are 538 cars for every 1,000 residents, Londoners have 306.8.
There are more motorcycles per head in the South West than any other UK region, 27.7 for every 1,000 people.
In the whole of the UK there are 470.9 cars per 1,000 people and when it comes to vehicles of all types; 566.2 per 1,000 Brits.
It is no surprise to RAC chief engineer David Bizley that the number of vehicles on Britain’s roads is increasing year by year, as the population is too. But he says the more vehicles there are, the better the country’s roads need to be.
The Government is getting more fuel duty and car tax from all these extra vehicle owners and Mr Bizley says it is vital that the money generated is pumped back into improving the road network.