Decline in number of cars on roads

Britain has recorded its first fall in the number of vehicles on the roads in 64 years, a new report has said.

The total number of cars in use dropped 0.7% year-on-year in 2009 to 31,035,791 - the first peacetime decline since records began in 1904, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

But there were also fewer high-polluting vehicles on the roads and the average CO2 emissions in 2009 were 1.75% less than the previous year.

The group said 936,000 vehicles of all vehicles now have CO2 emission rates of less than 120g/km - their numbers growing 90% over the past three years.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "The recession is the most obvious factor impacting on the number of cars on the road.

"The scrappage incentive scheme has also removed a large number of older and more polluting vehicles. Alongside these economic factors, tough enforcement has helped remove unlicensed vehicles from UK roads."

Meanwhile, silver continued to be the favourite colour among motorists for the second year in a row.

Blue which was knocked of the top spot came in second in the rankings, followed by black and red.

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