Want more information? Contact us to see how we can help you.

The Average speed on England’s Strategic Road Network declined in 2023

British Roads


A report published in March 2024 by National Statistics for the UK’s Government Department for Transport (DfT) – Travel time measures for the Strategic Road Network, revealed that the average speed on the Strategic Road Network* (SRN) has dropped by 1 mph from 58.1mph in 2022 to 57.0mph in 2023 a drop of 1.9%.

Even before covid, during which the average rose to 60mph due to fewer vehicles being on the road in 2020, the average speed on major roads was 58mph in 2019. 

This equates to an average delay in 2023 of 10.5 seconds per vehicle per mile. Up 12.9% from 2022 when it was 9.3 seconds per vehicle per mile. The worst area for delays is greater London with 15.0s/v/m. 

Some of these delays are attributed to major road upgrades and maintenance projects that took place in 2023.  

The RAC has said that these figures are very concerning having also looked at separate DfT figures showing the number of vehicles on Britain’s motorways in the year to the end of September 2023 was 1.4% lower than 2019 levels, with A road traffic also down 3.5%.  

With fewer vehicles on the road, and travel speed reducing, it would make sense to think that roadworks are the main causes of congestion and delays. However, a spokesperson for National Highways pointed out that the ratio of vehicles on our roads is changing, the number of HGVs and larger vehicles is increasing, and this brings down the average speed. 

The National Statistics report highlighted the concerning trend of decreasing average speeds on all major roads in England, despite a reduction in overall traffic volume. It can be concluded that roadworks and the increased number of HGVs are both contributing to overall congestion, businesses aiming to ensure on-time deliveries, therefore, can't rely on there simply being fewer roadworks or road closures in the future. 

This is where scheduling and route optimisation software comes into play.

These solutions can analyse masses of data, such as recent traffic speeds on individual roads at specific times of the day and direction of travel. Matching planned road closures, and historical delays means that along with all the other available data route optimisation software can create the most efficient delivery routes, minimising travel times and avoiding predictable delays. Businesses can better navigate these challenges and ensure their deliveries arrive on time, even in the face of unexpected delays. This translates to happier customers, improved operational efficiency, and a significant competitive edge. 

Contact us to discover more


What is the Strategic Road Network? 

The Strategic Road Network (SRN) consists of all the motorways and major A roads in England, a total road system of 4,500 miles. The SRN, managed by National Highways, connects all major English towns and cities, carrying two-thirds of all freight and a third of all traffic the SRN has to cope with more than 4 million daily journeys.