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Road Freight

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many road freight journeys are expected to be made in Northern Ireland in each of the next 10 years; and how many such journeys are estimated to have been made in each of the last three years. (93289)

The Chief Executive of Roads Service Dr. Malcolm McKibbin has written to the hon. Lady in response to this question.

Letter from Dr. Malcolm McKibbin, dated 16 October 2006:

We have consulted with officials in other Departments and elsewhere within the Department for Regional Development, but unfortunately the information that you requested is not held. Roads Service does however carry out a vehicle kilometres of travel (VKT) survey each year to estimate the total distance travelled by vehicles on Northern Ireland's road network. This provides a measure of the usage of the various roads and facilitates a direct comparison with the rest of the United Kingdom and other European Countries.

The following table lists the estimated total distance travelled by each of the five different categories of vehicle during the past three years.

Million

VKT

2003

2004

2005

Class 1 - Cars and Vans

15,970

16,751

16,916

Class 2 - Medium Commercial

1,061

1,002

992

Class 3 - Heavy Commercial

734

655

665

Class 4 - Articulated Commercial

423

385

392

Class 5 - Bus and Coach

60

60

58

Total

18,248

18,853

19,023

With regard to estimating future road freight journeys no formal forecast exists. However within Roads Service we use transport models to develop traffic forecasts to enable us to assess the viability of proposed road schemes.

From the information we have available I can advise that our forecasts for the growth of all road traffic journeys indicates that the growth rate will fall to under 2 per cent. per annum by 2012.