Road traffic edged slightly higher last year to an all-time high, according to government statistics that have just been published. 

Overall mileage for all types of vehicles totalled 328.1bn in 2018, compared with 327.1bn the previous year. 

The mileage for cars and light commercial vehicles increased to 255bn and 51bn, compared with 254.4bn and 50.5bn, and heavy goods vehicles edged up marginally from 17bn to 17.1bn.

Motorcycles and buses & coaches both saw slight declines in their totals with motorcycles down to 2.7bn from 2.8bn, and coaches were down from 2.4bn to 2.3bn.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “While the number of miles travelled on our roads hardly changed in 2018 compared to the previous year, interestingly the forms of transport used have.

“Van traffic, despite experiencing slower growth in 2018, still saw a slight increase which sets a new record high. Cycling miles also rose and are now 34% above what they were 25 years ago, but there has been a continued decline in the number of miles travelled by buses and coaches which is particularly worrying in an age when, as a society, we are trying to get people to use public transport more.

“Car traffic, while stable, is at an all-time high, as is use of the Strategic Road Network which now carries more than a third of all motorised traffic in England despite only accounting for 2.4% of all roads, highlighting just how valuable it is to Britain’s economy.

“This also serves to emphasise just how important the Government’s promised Road Investment Strategy and ring-fenced funding will be in providing extra capacity and more reliable journeys.”