England’s love for online shopping is leading to increased congestion and wear and tear of our roads that must be matched by long-term funding for councils to bring our roads up to scratch, the Local Government Association reveals today.
As companies scramble to meet their rising number of deliveries, traffic caused by the number of Light Goods Vehicles (LGV) on our streets has soared.
Analysis of new figures by the LGA reveals that, over the last five years, LGVs traffic has increased by 20 per cent from 41.4 billion vehicle miles travelled to 49.1 billion, while shopping online has jumped by almost a quarter (23 per cent) in the last year alone, hitting £8.4 billion in 2016/17, up from £6.8 billion 2015/16.
The LGA is calling for the Government to carry out a radical new strategy to provide a fully-funded plan for the growing number of vehicles on the nation’s roads, including LGVs, as well as new powers to better manage congestion. This needs to include reinvesting 2 pence per litre of existing fuel duty which would generate £1 billion a year for councils to spend on local roads maintenance.
Whilst councils recognise online sales can have positive benefits, a continued rise in LGVs providing free home delivery services has helped to contribute to increased congestion on A-roads and in urban areas, road maintenance issues, such as potholes, wear-down of road markings, and increasing general wear and tear.
It would also already take £9.3 billion and over 14 years for councils to clear the current road repairs backlog. The LGA is calling on the Government to recognise the need to match the increased infrastructure pressures facing our local roads with additional funds.
This would allow councils to improve road surfaces and reduce congestion, allowing all vehicles, including LGVs, to complete their journeys quicker and with less stress, meaning it could become even easier for people to get their delivery by the next day.
Cllr Martin Tett, LGA Transport spokesman, said:
“Online shopping helps people buy the things they want at a click of a button, whether it’s a gift for a loved one or a weekend food shop.
“But it is clear that the growing demand for online shopping means the number of Light Goods Vehicles on the road is rising to meet demand. This is adding to congestion, and wear and tear on our local roads, which already face a £9.3 billion repair bill.
“Tackling this bill must be a national priority. Unless we take action now, our roads crisis will continue to escalate and have major consequences for the national economy.
“Long-term, consistent funding is the only way councils can carry out the desperately-needed local road improvements we need and reduce congestion. This would allow all vehicles, including LGVs, to complete their journeys quicker and with less stress, meaning it could become even easier for people to get their delivery by the next day.”