The Government recently released the Road Traffic Forecasts 2015 and for the first time included a range of forecasts, altering a wider range of variables to show how these affected the outcomes. While it is a significant step and a recognition that its forecasts are not always accurate – probably a significant under-statement! – there is still much to do, before the forecasts can become more reliable.
The various different ‘scenarios’ as they call them can be found here.
Significantly, the Department for Transport states within the Road Traffic Forecasts that:
“Forecasts are not a target to be met nor do they define the level of road capacity required, but to develop the right strategy it is vital that we are able to understand how road traffic might change over time.”
“When considering these forecasts they should not be viewed as what we want the future to look like, but what may happen…”
So it is clear that the Department for Transport is absolutely certain that these are not targets and it should not be assumed that road traffic will necessarily climb to the predicted levels, as what actually happens will be determined by a whole range of influences, including local conditions.