A nationwide traffic survey conducted over the past ten years has revealed what many people already knew: There is more traffic when it rains.
"It's a peculiarly British phenomena," said Kara Vanette, from the Office of Traffic Control. "No other European countries have the same increase in bad weather. The additional traffic can cause major slow downs on British motorways in wet weather. In it's own way, this is a good thing. Wet roads are more dangerous and the extra cars and decrease in speeds actually save lives."
The average journey time from home to work in Britain on a dry day is thirty five minutes, but in wet weather, this rockets to fifty minutes, nearly doubling the average journey time.
Where do the extra cars come from? There are two competing theories, which, due to the vast volume increase, may both be right.
"We've interviewed drivers in roadside surveys," said Vanette. "Whilst the surveys themselves slow traffic down, it's a small price to pay. They've revealed that the people of Britain like driving in the rain. As soon as the heavens open, they're all in the cars driving. Of course, it could be that they just don't want to stand at a wet bus stop. However, from the answers on the surveys in wet weather, they've only come out in their car because it's raining."
The other theory has been doing the rounds on the conspiracy theorists web sites since the traffic increase in wet weather was announced.
"It's a government safety scheme," said Mr X, who doesn't want to be named. "When it rains, they send out their trucks to congest the roads, and slow people down. It's a nanny state!"
Vanette dismissed this as pure fabrication, fantasy and nonsense.
"I think she protests too much," said Mr X.