The number of vans on UK roads are set to skyrocket by 2040 according to recent findings by DfT. Due to a recent surge in online shopping, the demand for more light goods vans could result our already busy roads increasing in traffic by 30 per cent, meaning our mileage has the potential to reach 425 billion miles a year.
The next 20 years could see a significant increase in delivery vans clocking up their miles up and down the country in an effort to keep up with demand. The likes of Amazon, Asos and eBay are leading the way in the online shopping market and are said to be amongst the first to increase their fleets over the next 20 years.
According to recent figures from the Department of Transport, British drivers travelled a total of 327.1 billion miles during 2017 (the highest amount of UK miles recorded) with more than 50.5 billion of those by vans and nearly 70 billion motorway miles.
To put this into perspective, this figure has shot up by almost 70 per cent since 1997, and if we continue to see such a huge increase in numbers, there is the potential to reach a staggering 425.1 billion miles a year.
But what can we do about this?
Campaigners have voiced their opinion on ways they would like to see the UK Government invest in the road network, the only option being to accept the fact that traffic jams are only going to get worse and motorists will have to simply deal with the surge.
Head of roads policy for the AA Jack Cousens, comments: 'The huge rise in van traffic shows a change in consumer habits with the steady rise of online shopping – as well as more people turning to self-employment. But car use also shows no sign of slowing down any time soon, so more investment is needed to tackle the problem.
Potholes on the roads are a national disgrace and a key contributor to congestion levels. The Government most get a grip.'
Seconding this, Co-founder of FairFuel UK Howard Cox, said: 'A growing population, internet delivery and poor public transport means more people are driving… time to scrap HS2 and put the vanity cash where it's needed - into roads and public transport to benefit the whole of the UK.'
If Britain continues to sit and watch as our already congested roads become even worse, a figure like 327.1 billion could become just a drop in the ocean.