DfT Traffic statistics provide estimates of the vehicle miles travelled each year in Great Britain, by vehicle type, road category and region. The department releases both quarterly and annual estimates, with the latter providing more detail and precision than the former.
Browse statistical releases within this series
Browse individual statistical tables within this series
Topics within the road traffic statistics series
- Road traffic by vehicle type and by road category (in vehicle miles)
- Road traffic by vehicle type and by road category (in vehicle kilometres)
- Motor vehicle flows
- Heavy goods vehicles: traffic by HGV type, weight-in motion, headway
- Foreign registered vehicles
- Road traffic by region and local authority
Tables containing data related to traffic within other DfT series
Notes and guidance
Quarterly traffic estimates
Provisional quarterly traffic estimates are based on traffic data collected continuously from a national network of around 180 Automatic Traffic Counters (ATC). Quarterly estimates are provisional until they have been constrained by the final annual estimates each year.
Annual traffic estimates
Annual road traffic estimates are mainly based on around ten thousand manual counts, which are combined with ATC data and road lengths to produce overall estimates
The total activity of traffic on the road network in Great Britain is measured in vehicle miles/kilometres.
Traffic estimates for major roads are based on a census of all such roads whereas traffic estimates for minor roads are estimated by calculating growth rates from a fixed sample of count points on the minor road network.
Special note (revisions)
A revised version of ‘Annual Road Traffic Statistics 2010′ was published in February 2012 due to a regular minor roads benchmarking exercise taking place in 2008-09. As a result, minor roads estimates were revised for the period between 2000 and 2010. Due to this, estimates published before February 2012 will not match those publish from February 2012 onwards.
For more information on the minor roads benchmarking exercise please see the technical information section below.
Estimate of road traffic at national and regional level by vehicle type and road class are classed as National Statistics. These statistics are currently being assessed by the United Kingdom Statistics Authority (UKSA) to determine their compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. An assessment report was published in June 2012 (Report 221).
Estimates of road traffic at local authority level are less robust and are classed as official statistics but not as National Statistics and should be treated with caution.
Pre-release access lists
These lists detail the post-holders that are given pre-release access for up to 24 hours prior to release.
Further technical information on the Traffic series statistics and the production of traffic estimates.
- Traffic estimates: notes and definitions (PDF – 54 KB)
- Quarterly road traffic estimates: methodology note (PDF – 32 KB)
- Annual road traffic estimates: methodology note(PDF – 55 KB)
- Foreign registered vehicle estimates: methodology note (PDF – 44 KB)
- Minor road benchmarking: frequency asked questions (PDF – 28 KB)
- Office for National Statistics benchmarking technical report (PDF – 76 KB)
Information on traffic statistics for previous years which were published on the Department’s old website can be found at:
We continuously review the content of these statistics to ensure they are meeting users’ needs. A summary of the feedback we have received from users can be found below. We continue to welcome any feedback on these statistics. Feedback may be given via the contact details provided below.
The following geographical website allows users to view and download estimated traffic flows on every link of the ‘A’ road and motorway network in Great Britain. An interactive map provides a mapped background to identify traffic flows in specific areas of the country.
- Phone: 020 7944 3095