Britain's road traffic 'at record high'

Reports that a record number of vehicles took to Britain's roads in the past 12 months feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription required) reports that Department for Transport figures have revealed that "record numbers of vehicles took to the road in the past 12 months, exceeding the pre-recession peak. Vehicles covered 316.1 billion miles in the year to the end of September, 2.2 per cent more than the year before. This was also 0.6 per cent higher than in 2007, the previous record."

An article in the Independent says that, whether utopian or dystopian, the future of road travel is driverless cars. The article quotes Lauren Isaac, manager of sustainable transportation at the engineering consultancy WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff saying: "There are two potential scenarios – one utopian and one dystopian … The former would be a society with a much greater vehicle and ride-sharing culture. People could make much more efficient transportation decisions and there could be a significant reduction in the need for parking. The latter is a scenario where people use their cars far more because they can perform tasks without a driver and are willing to commute further because they can work in their car. That would have major implications for infrastructure and congestion."

The Telegraph reports that a landlord "has banned 800 punters from his pub - calling them 'hypocrites in cardigans' who only drink half-pints". The newspaper says that "Steve Coxshall, the landlord and owner of the 300-year-old Duke of Hamilton pub in Hampstead … spoke out this week after his pub was listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV)." Coxshall said that he "didn't want his pub listed as an ACV, which forces him to notify his local council if he wants to sell the pub and give locals a chance to buy it if they can raise the cash in six months", the newspaper adds.

The Guardian reports that the UK’s "environment department is facing the largest cuts to its resources budget of any government department since 2009, according to an analysis by two of the country’s largest wildlife charities."

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