Van traffic was the fastest growing category on UK roads in the year ended March 2017, while the number of miles travelled by HGVs fell.

According to the DfT’s Provisional Road Traffic Estimates, Vans accounted for 49.6 billion vehicle miles on roads between April 2016 and March 2017; a 4.5% increase year on year.

DfT said van traffic has increased by an average of 4.8% per year in the last four years, making it the fastest growing traffic type.

However for the year ended march 2017, vehicle miles travelled by HGVs fell by 0.8% to 16.6 billion.

But the DfT said that HGV traffic is still up 7.5% on four years ago, making it the second fastest growing category after vans.

Over the last 25 years, according the DfT’s estimates, van traffic has grown soared by 71.7%, while HGV traffic has crept up 1.9%.

In total, Great Britain’s roads hosted a record 324.3 billion vehicle miles in the year ended March 2017.

This statistic highlights the urgent need for more infrastructure funding, according to the Road Surface Treatments Association.

Its chief executive Howard Robinson said: “As traffic levels increase so do the demands being placed on an under-funded road network .

“An efficient, well-maintained road network is essential for the social and economic well-being of the country. Record levels of traffic are forced to use a road network that is not in a fit state due to decades of under investment.”

Speaking at the RHA’s Autumn Conference last month, Highways England admitted it had endured “years of under-funding and austerity” when it was the Highways Agency, but that it was committed to improving the condition of the country’s roads.

Its Midlands Regional Director Caroline Brookes said: “For the next two and a half years, we’ve got £5.4bn improvements (new schemes) and another £3.7bn renewals (fixing what we’ve already got) on the way. So that mean there will be a large amount of improvements and new schemes.”