UK Traffic News | Blog

Our Blog on the UK Traffic News Website

UK's Top 10 Busiest Roads

There are different ways of measuring traffic levels.

Annual Average Daily Flow or AADF for short is one and Traffic Volume is a second way.

Annual Average Daily Flow (AADF) is the daily vehicle average over the course of a year on a particular stretch of road.

Traffic Volume is the total volume of traffic on a stretch of road for the whole year and is calculated by multiplying AADF x  length of road x 365 (or 366 in a leap year).

Graph of the UK's Top 10 Busiest Roads During 2013




The graph shows the top 10 UK business roads reading the colour coded descriptions from left to right and downwards.

This above graph actually refers to the top 10 busiest sections of UK roads, highlighting the traffic hotspots.

So the M25 around Junctions 14 and 15 where to two busiest stretches of UK road during 2013.

In fact the M25 between junctions 11 and 16 are the top 5 busiest strectchs of road in the UK with annual average daily flow of all vehicles from 187,116 vehicles at M25 Junction 11 and 12 up to 227,585 vehicles on the Junction 14 to 15 stretch.

As you can see on a map of the M25 junctions these stretches of the M25 motorway run up and down the western side of the M25 around the Heathrow area.

Around 72.3 Million passengers arrived at or departed from Heathrow during 2013, which was Heathrow's busiest year on record, of which 26 million or 37% never left the airport taking connecting flights. That still leaves just over 46 million passengers exiting Heathrow airport into the local area during 2013 of which are fair proportion would travel by road. The busiest day on record at Heathrow was 30 June 2013 with 238,949 passengers that day. The average 63% leaving the airport would have meant that around 150,000 exited or aarrived at Heathrow that day, some on public transport into London and others entering the road network locally.

On top of the passangers travelling in and out of Heathrow are the people employed at Heathrow. There are approximately 77,000 people working within the Heathrow Airport boundaries and many more in the local area making the western side of the M25 motorway a very busy stretch of motorway.

The M1 Junctions 7 and 8 (Hatfield and Hemel Hempstead) was the 6th busiest stretch of UK road.

The M60 motorway around Manchester at Junctions 12 and 13 was the 7th busiest stretch of UK road where it connects to the M62 motoway to Liverpool.

The remaining top three of the top 10 busiest stretches of UK roads are on on the western side of the M25 motorway.

Cars and taxi cabs far outnumbering other vehicle types.

List of Top 10 Busiest Roads


A list of roads that have the busiest traffic at some part of that road the list of the top 10 busiest roads would be as follows:

  1. M25 (various junctions)
  2. M1 (junctions 7 and 8 and other junctions)
  3. M60 (junctions 12 and 13 and other junctions)
  4. M8 (junctions 4 to 6)
  5. M4 (junctions 4 and 4B and other junctions)
  6. M6 (junctions 20 and 21 and other junctions)
  7. M56 (junctions 3 and 4)
  8. M61 (junctions 2 and 3)
  9. A406 (Redbridge and Waltham Forest)
  10. M42 (junctions 6 to 7A)
But as some of these individual roads stretch a long way with quieter and busier sections a list of this type does not really accurately pin point the traffic hot spots in the same way.

Traffic statistics are based on Department for Transport figures and Heathrow figures are based on Heathrow Airports public facts and figures.


So What is The Most Popular Car in the UK?

The most common car in Great Britain is the Ford Focus (I was very suprised to read that) of which there are around 1.5 Million are licensed on UK roads.

The Ford Fiesta (not so suprised) comes a close second at 1.3 Million.

UK Figures source, the DVLA for the year 2013.

List of the Top Car Sales by Manufacturer in 2013

The following is a list of the top car sales in the UK by car manufacturer.

Ford is still a way in front with Vauxhall and Volkswagen in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

The popularity of the Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta helping to keep Ford ahead of the rest in 2013.


Manufacturer 2013 Sales % Market Share



Ford 188,993 14.25
Vauxhall 150,805 11.37
Volkswagen 115,346 8.7
Audi 84,528 6.38
BMW 73,604 5.55
Nissan 70,856 5.34
Peugeot 63,628 4.8
Mercedes Benz 62,310 4.7
Toyota 54,003 4.07
Citroen 48,516 3.66
Hyundai 44,132 3.33
Kia 43,205 3.26
Skoda 37,306 2.81
Fiat 34,033 2.57
Honda 33,598 2.53
Land Rover 33,579 2.53
Mini 28,467 2.15
Seat 25,681 1.94
Renault 22,354 1.69
Volvo 19,054 1.44
Suzuki 18,859 1.42
Mazda 17,838 1.35
Jaguar 9,813 0.74
Dacia 8,297 0.63
Chevrolet 7,465 0.56
Mitsubishi 5,431 0.41
Lexus 4,806 0.36
Porsche 4,632 0.35
Smart 3,263 0.25
Alfa Romeo 3,163 0.24
Chrysler 1,551 0.12
Subaru 1,187 0.09
Jeep 1,091 0.08
Abarth 807 0.06
Bentley 727 0.05
Aston Martin 575 0.04
Ssangyong 322 0.02
Infiniti 266 0.02
Maserati 194 0.01
Perodua 165 0.01
MG 156 0.01
Lotus 122 0.01
Proton 15 0

Will Ford be top in 2014?




Has Congestion On UK Roads Got Worse?

When you are sat in a pile of traffic do you sit there thinking the traffic and traffic congestion is getting worse?

Did you know that Local ‘A’ roads account for around 9% of all roads in England, but carry around a third of all traffic around England.

Increase in Congestion in England in 2013


The Government measures a traffic speed using in-vehicle GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to record journey times and the number of vehicles using automatic traffic counters.

Peak period is officially classed as between 7am to 10am weekdays Monday to Friday and during peak periods in the 21 months ended December 2013 average speeds have fallen steadily which is an indication of increased congestions.

So is this due to an increase in the number of cars or vehicles on 'A' roads?

The downward trend in average traffic speed and increase in congestion over this period is at least partly due to the level of rainfall over the last 21 months. According to the Met Office 2012 was the wettest year on record in England and the first three months of 2013 were wetter than each of the same months in 2012. A good indicator that weather conditions are at least partly to blame with January 2013 particularly being affected by snow.

In more recent months more cars were reported to be using 'A' roads which also contributed to congestion and reductions in average speed. However this is perhaps as weather conditions were slightly better more drivers were prepared to venture out rather than during bad weather months.

Increase in Number of Vehicles on the Road

The DVLA reported that there were 35.0 Million vehicles registered and licensed on the road in Great Britain at the end of 2013 which is a 1.5% increase on 2012 and the biggest annual increase since 2007. Just of 29 Million of the licenced vehicles were cars or around 83%.

It would therefore be wrong to totally blame the weather due to the rise in number of vehicles licensed for road use.

The number of vehicles licensed each year rose at a faster rate between 1994 and 2005 and although increasing every year since 2005 is at a slower rate compared to pre 2005. The recession no doubt having an effect on this.

Conclusion and looking forward

It would perhaps be fair to conclude that a mixture of the increase number of cars and vehicles licensed to use the roads in Great Britain and the particularly bad weather conditions during 2012 and 2013 have both contributed to the increased level of congestion on UK roads and slower average traffic speeds in peak periods.

As the UK comes out of recession it is likely the number of vehicles licensed for road use will increase and this is unlikely to mean congestion is going to reduce and if weather conditions in 2014 and 2015 are wet or poor like 2012 and 2013 that will only make matters even worse.

UK Traffic News - Sponsored Skydive 2013

Last July we did a sponsored 15000 ft Skydive to raise money for Rett Syndrome.



We would like to thank everyone who sponsored John and Jessi to do the Skydive.

The Skydrive was financed by John and Jessi personally so all donations went to Reverse Retts and we raised £1575.

Anyone who knows a family with a child with Rett Syndrome will know what a worthy charitable cause this is.

A massive thank you to everyone last summer who donated kindly.

John