Heavily taxed and hit by recession, the UK's drivers are deserting the country's roads.
Latest figures from the Department for Transport have revealed that overall traffic on the UK's roads has fallen by 3.5% during in the first quarter of 2009.
Heavy snowfall in early February has been blamed for one percentage point of this decline, but a 12% fall in heavy goods vehicle (HGV) traffic confirms that financial pressures contribute strongly to the drop.
Statistics reveal that fewer cars, vans and HGVs are using all types of roads, with the biggest decrease experienced by motorway traffic. Traffic on these roads fell by 5%.
The full statistics are as follows:
Figures cover the period between the first quarters of 2008 and 2009.
Car traffic decreased by 3%
Light van traffic decreased by 2%
Heavy goods vehicle traffic decreased by 12%
Traffic on motorways decreased by 5%
Traffic on rural A roads decreased by 4%
Traffic on urban A roads decreased by 2%
Traffic on minor rural roads decreased by 3%
Traffic on minor urban roads decreased by 3%