Traffic increases on motorways

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Motorways and minor roads are bearing the bulk of increased traffic, according to Government provisional figures released yesterday. Total traffic was up 1.3 per cent in 1996, but in the last quarter, the year- on-year rise was 2 per cent, said the Department of Transport.

The number of vehicle kilometres - a measure of the number of trips made - rose from 5bn to 436bn in 1996 and was mostly due to an increase in car journeys.

Between October and December, the number of cars increased by 2 per cent, and light vans by 4 per cent, according to traffic counts. Over the year, cars went up by 1.5 per cent and light vans 1 per cent. Goods vehicle traffic showed no change. The annual increase for motorways and minor roads was 2 per cent, with no growth on trunk and principal roads. Randeep Ramesh