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If you have a team of car and van-driving workers who spend even a modest amount of their work time travelling on behalf of your company, it is quite likely they are wasting time and money sitting in traffic. Through no fault of their own, the time spent in traffic is costing UK businesses some £4.5 billion in lost production, according to a report from Lex Autolease.

The report says that workers who drive company cars or vans for work purposes spend about 70 million collective hours on the road weekly. As much as 13% of that time is spent sitting in traffic jams, either moving slowly or not moving at all. The worst of the problems are obvious places such as London and its outlying suburbs. However, traffic congestion exists everywhere.

A secondary report from Inrix indicates traffic congestion is up in 14 of 18 measured metropolitan areas this year, compared to the same time in 2014. The report says that North Staffordshire has been hit worst with a 37% increase in congestion. Coventry followed with a 33% increase. Inrix CEO Bryan Mistele says his company’s research shows that 2015 marks the third consecutive year traffic congestion has risen in the UK.

Economic Growth and Traffic

The number should come as no surprise to those who follow economic trends. We would expect increased traffic as the economy improves, due to economic activity spurring additional traffic for haulage, transport, and leisure travel. Yet we cannot help but wonder if transport companies choosing to switch from larger HGVs to smaller vans might also be contributing to congestion in metropolitan areas.

It is no secret that HGVs are not well received in congested urban areas. With every passing year, there are greater restrictions put on the larger vehicles in order to make them safer in local communities. Interestingly enough, there has been a commensurate rise in van fleet sales in areas where restrictions are making the use of HGVs more difficult.

Could it be that increasing the volume of van driving for commercial purposes is adding to congestion? It is possible. For example, consider a logistics company that decides to replace two large HGVs with four smaller vans that will be easier to operate in the cities. While the HGVs are certainly larger and harder to operate, replacing them with smaller vans results in adding volume even as size is reduced. Every vehicle on the road increases the potential for congestion regardless of its size.

There are undoubtedly other factors at play here. We are not suggesting that the problem of congestion is entirely due to larger van fleets. We are merely suggesting that more vans on the road could be part of the problem.

The HGV Training Centre is proud to provide comprehensive HGV, PCV, and van-driving training. We operate nearly four dozen modern facilities with training provided by experienced and competent experts. We can train you to drive professionally if you are interested.

Sources:

Fleet News UK – https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/environment/2015/09/18/traffic-jams-costing-businesses-45bn-a-year-say-experts

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