Car traffic sinks to lowest level since May amid fuel crisis

The fuel crisis has been blamed for bringing car use down to its lowest level since May.

Department for Transport figures show car traffic in Britain on Tuesday last week was at 86% of pre-pandemic levels.

It has not been that low since mid-May.

Traffic for all motor vehicles was close to 100% before the shortage at filling stations, but was closer to 90% between Tuesday and Thursday last week.

On Monday of this week, the most recent day covered by the statistics, car traffic was at 91%, down from 97% a fortnight earlier.

AA’s head of roads policy Jack Cousens said: “Not only did the fuel shortages, which had been managed successfully up until details of a Government meeting with the fuel industry and hauliers were leaked, leave millions of cars having to queue but they had a direct impact on commerce.

“This has been a woeful chapter in a long history of UK drivers being let down or exploited.

“Electric vehicles with charging at home, supermarkets and so many more places offers a new horizon away from the traumas of the fossil fuel trade.”

Demand for buses has increased during the fuel crisis.

Bus use outside London was at 80% on Monday compared with 77% two weeks ago, while in the capital it rose from 70% to 74% over the same period.

Rail travel across Britain was at 61% on Monday, although that figure is provisional and is expected to be revised upwards.

The latest confirmed figure for rail travel is 60% on Monday of last week.