Tentative signs of the start of a recovery in traffic volumes have begun to emerge for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown, but the AA is warning they may never return to previous levels.

Road traffic volumes have recorded a 3% weekly rise, according to the figures released by the Department for Transport, revealed at a government press conference at No 10 on April 29. Prior to that, traffic volumes had fallen by 59% since the first week of February.

The small upward trend was confirmed by the RAC Insurance spokesman, Simon Williams: "Analysis of hundreds of thousands of RAC Insurance black box trips confirms the number of vehicles on the UK’s roads is rising.

"By the second week of lockdown our data clearly showed the volume of vehicles being driven had fallen by 40%, but by the end of last week, this crept back up again by 10%. The number of separate trips being made by car has also risen by 14% since the beginning of April. With the lockdown still very much in force, it remains the case that none of us should be driving unless it’s for an essential trip."