HGV traffic is the only type of motor transport to have returned to pre-pandemic lockdown traffic levels, according to new data released by the Department for Transport.

The figures show that since 1 September HGV traffic has matched early 2020 traffic levels before the first lockdown began.

In the first weeks of the first national lockdown in late March and April, HGV traffic fell by 40% during weekdays with Easter Monday recording a low point with a 75% drop.

Since 1 September, HGV traffic is operating at 4% higher than pre-lockdown levels on weekdays and 16% higher at weekends.

Levels have remained high across September to November, consistently matching pre-Covid figures – with a spike predicted across December in the run-up to Christmas.

Car traffic, on the other hand, has fallen sharply during the second lockdown, with a 30% decline during weekdays and 40% at weekends.

Greg Wilson, founder of HGV, van, lorry and fleet insurance comparison platform Quotezone.co.uk, said: “I think recognition is due for those drivers who have continued to work throughout the pandemic.

“The statistics show a continuous flow across 2020 with many bringing vital supplies and groceries to communities across the country, under challenging conditions.

“And now it appears to be a full return to normality for HGV professionals as the country prepares for the festive season.

“While business mileage remains down for almost every other class of vehicle, the fact that HGVs are clocking up more miles than normal even while the country is locked down shows that these logistics specialists really are vital to help keep the country moving.”