The lifeblood of our society
One way to consider the transport system is to look at our hands, or more accurately what lies beneath the skin of our hands. The image shows a complex network of arteries, veins and blood vessels which carry blood to and from our fingers, allowing the hand to fulfil its many roles in our daily lives.
The arteries and veins do the ‘heavy lifting’ of moving the blood to and from the hand, while the blood vessels provide the local service, enabling fingers and finger tips to flex, nerves to function and the hand to perform its precision operations.
So it is with the transport system. 44 tonne HGVs fulfil the role of the arteries and veins, moving a very high volume of goods from our ports and airports across our motorway network, while a huge range of smaller and specialist vehicles undertake detailed operations at a local level. 1.41 billion tonnes of goods were transported by HGV in 2018, over a total of 152 billion tonne kilometres. With such a heavy load to carry, the transport system can only function properly when each element plays its part.