There are a record number of cars on the streets of the West Midlands that, according to activists, are worsening the potholes, traffic and obesity problems in the region.

In 2009, 1.52 million vehicles were on the road in our region.

By 2017, a further 272,000 vehicles were on the roads, so that a total of 1.79 m were reached.

This was the highest value ever recorded, as Birmingham's live analysis of data from the Department for Transport shows.

The rise in the West Midlands reflects the nationwide trend.

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Last year, 37.7 million vehicles were on the road in the UK – a record high.

According to the Better Traffic Campaign, these extra cars are worsening the country's roads, contributing to air pollution and making us overweight.

Bridget Fox, Sustainable Transport Campaigner at the charity, said: "Growing traffic should affect us all.

"More cars on the road mean more traffic jams and more wear and increase the pothole jam.

"Traffic is bad for our health, noise and pollution, while dependence on cars drives the obesity crisis.

"We also know that emissions from road traffic are the main cause of air pollution and a growing source of CO2 emissions.

"The government is making a bad situation worse, freezing fuel taxes as far as public transport tariffs go up and pumping billions into road construction, while safe foot and bike paths are a bad relationship."

There is one car for every 1.7 people in Birmingham – far more cars per person than in other major cities like London (3.3 cars for each person), Manchester (3.6 cars for each person) and Sheffield (2, 7 per person).

From January to March of this year, 854,000 new vehicles were registered in the United Kingdom for the first time – a decline of 11 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

This was caused by a sharp decline in the number of diesel vehicles (down 33 per cent) as a result of the dieselgate emissions scandal and the increased vehicle tax on new diesel vehicles that miss the upcoming emissions targets.

"There is a real chance for change"

Ms. Fox said, "There is a real chance for change, and the apparent growth of cars on the road hides some important trends.

"As people who drive for their jobs continue to travel, we also experience a decline in total rides, with city dwellers and younger adults relying less and less on cars they use for their daily trips.

"It's time to invest in a healthier future: spend money repairing existing roads instead of building new ones, investing in quality public transport, walking and cycling to connect communities and people, Protecting places and the planet. "



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