‘Rat-running’ increases on residential UK streets as experts blame satnav apps | The Guardian
Motoring on minor roads doubled between 2009 and 2019, regional figures reveal
The DfT blames the rise in traffic on rising population and other factors. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA
“Rat-running” on residential streets has increased dramatically in the past decade, according to statistics from the Department for Transport.
London has experienced a doubling in motor traffic on quiet C roads since 2008, while in most other parts of the UK polluting motor traffic has increased more greatly on residential streets than on A or B roads.
Motoring organisations and anti-traffic campaigners blame the internet. The AA president Edmund King has highlighted the rise of online deliveries, while urban liveability experts point the finger at smartphones and satnav apps including shortcutting app Waze.
Another reason is bloat. In 2007, there were 27m registered motor vehicles in the UK. There are now 38.3m, with experts predicting numbers will rise above 40m within the next two years. Even if all new cars and vans were powered by batteries rather than fossil fuel, that would not solve congestion or reduce road danger, say campaigners.