RAC: Record number of cars on the roads – but rate of growth beaten by delivery vans

Following the release of vehicle licensing statistics from the UK Government, RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis has responded.

“While the number of cars on the road reached a record high last year of nearly 33.6m, the rate of growth over recent years hasn’t nearly matched that of new light goods vehicles (LGVs), including vans, that have fuelled the boom in home deliveries. Since the end of 2014, the number of LGVs rose by a third (32%) from 3.6m to 4.7m, yet cars rose by just 10% over the same period. And in the last five years, the number of LGVs has shot up by 14%, compared to cars going up by 3%.

“Conversely, the number of buses and coaches on the UK’s roads tumbled 16% from nearly 169,000 at the end of 2014 to just 141,300 at the end of last year, which is disappointing at a time when so much public money is being spent on trying to make bus travel more attractive – for instance, by building more bus lanes. It’s little wonder then that so many people are as dependent on their cars as they are.

“It’s good news from an air quality perspective that the number of diesel vehicles is at the lowest level since 2015.”


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