Within twenty years there could be another seven million drivers in the UK meaning that, if current trends persist, the total will leap from about 36 million to 43 million.
The sharp rise is predominantly due to a growing and ageing population, and threatens to bring increased congestion and travel delays, especially in urban areas.
The forecast by the RAC Foundation helps explain why official figures suggest that traffic is set to rise by about a fifth in towns and cities in England and Wales over the next ten years; and by a third over the next 20 years (compared with 2010).
Click on the interactive map below to see how population and urban traffic will grow over the coming decades:
The traffic and driver figures are at the heart of the debate over the way we will travel in the future. As part of its contribution to the subject the RAC Foundation invited twelve experts and organisations, with a wide range of perspectives, to give their views on urban transportation in the decades ahead.
These essays are published in Moving Cities: The future of urban travel. Each essay presents the author’s independent view.
This is a list of papers and authors:
Viewpoint – RAC Foundation
Coping with the aftermath of peak car in urban areas - Christian Wolmar
Trends in urban travel behaviour - Scott Le Vine & John Polak, Imperial College
The then and now of urban areas - David Bayliss
Shaping demand in urban areas - David Bayliss
Maximising the use of the road network in London - Garrett Emmerson, TfL
Opening the highways to all in the 21st century – Ford Motor Company
The dawn of now: changes in transport design - Dale Harrow, Royal College of Art
Customer technology: the ticket to greater mobility - Shashi Verma, TfL
Urban space and street design - John Dales, Urban Movement
Spontaneous mobility - John Miles, Cambridge University
Regulation: bridge or barrier - Philip Pank
The (likely) future of urban mobility - Timothy Papandreou, The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency