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Car Ownership

Volume 127: debated on Thursday 11 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the growth in the last year in car ownership as expressed as a percentage of the adult population; what is the projected annual growth (a) nationally and (b) in Surrey; what recent census there has been of traffic on major roads and motorways in Surrey; and what is the density of major road traffic (i) nationally and (ii) in Surrey.

In the year to December 1986 the number of cars per head of adult population increased by 3 per cent. both in Surrey and in Great Britain. At national level growth of between 18 and 27 per cent. is forecast between 1986 and 2000. Similar growth is expected for Surrey.In 1986 the estimated traffic flow on major roads was 25,500 vehicles per day in Surrey, compared with 11,000 in Great Britain as a whole. These estimates are based on the continuing national traffic census.Figures for the number of cars per adult in 1985 and 1986 are derived from Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre records and from population estimates produced by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. Figures for the number of cars at the end of 1987 will be available by end February.Forecasts of car ownership, expressed per head of total population are from the national road traffic forecasts for five-year periods to the year 2015 published by the Department.The Department's rotating census covers the whole major road network over a six-year period. Average daily flow on a link in the latest year is derived by scaling counts in earlier years using a factor derived at national level from repeated counts at a small number of sites.The average flow is obtained by weighting together flows on all links by their length.