Number of vehicles on England's roads jumps by 2.5m in five years

The number of vehicles on England's roads has increased by nearly 2.5 million over the past five years, it has been revealed.

According to the Local Government Association (LGA), there were 32,153,000 vehicles on the country's roads last year - a 7.7% rise from 29,692,300 in 2013.

The organisation has warned that England is facing a "growing congestion crisis", with "road space" increasing by just 0.6% (1,119 miles) over the same period.

There are now 170 vehicles per mile of road, compared to 158 five years ago, it said.

Councillor Martin Tett, LGA transport spokesman, said: "England's roads are currently gripped by a growing congestion crisis.

"Very few journeys begin and end on a motorway or trunk road, yet government funding on the strategic road network is 52 times higher than for local roads.

"Spending more on improving our national roads will only serve to speed vehicles up between increased delays and congestion on local roads."

The LGA, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, said UK drivers wasted an average of 31 hours in rush-hour traffic last year, at a cost of £1,168 to each motorist.

It is calling on the Government to reinvest two pence per litre of existing fuel duty for local roads maintenance and to help deal with a £9.3 billion backlog of repairs.

Mr Tett added: "Councils are working hard to combat traffic and congestion but need to be able to do more to tackle this growing problem."

Earlier this month, it was revealed that motorists were attempting to avoid gridlocked urban roads by switching to longer, rural routes.

Data from the Department for Transport found that traffic levels on Britain's urban A roads had fallen by 1% since 2012 while usage of rural A roads was up 12.8%.