According to new research, UK road users lost an average of 115 hours of their lives being stuck in traffic in 2019. Traffic analyst Inrix says the country loses £6.9 billion
each year due to this with the individual commuting losing out on £894.
London was the worst hit with the English capital being the most congested and costing 149 hours lost per individual driver during peak periods in 2019. The city was ranked eighth in the world for traffic jams with Bogota the Colombian capital ranked first.
Belfast was ranked as the UK’s second-worst city for congestion (112 hours per driver) followed by Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester.
Inrix transportation analyst, Trevor Reed says, ‘You have very severe congestion (in London) and a massive, relatively high earning population. UK cities are quite a bit older and a lot denser than American cities. London is over 2,000 years olds. When you develop around walking, and horse and buggy, and everything but cars, the urban environment does not handle (cars) all that well. Cardiff saw the biggest year-on-year growth in congestion (up 5% to 87 hours).’ My Reed added: ‘You can reach a tipping point with a city. You add just enough cars to make nothing work. Sometimes you add one or two per more cars and it causes a vicious cycle of congestion to set in.’
London and Edinburgh tie the title as the United Kingdom’s slowest city, with the average speed of 10mph for the final mile of a journey in either city.
The A404/A501 between Edgware Road and Old Street in London is the UK’s most congested corridor, with commuters losing 44 hours last year.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Nottingham’s congestion decreased by 17% to 78 hours in 2019, which was the biggest drop in the UK in the top 10 mainly due to a multi-million pound overhaul of it’s public tram system.
With regards to high congestion, a Department for Transport spokeswoman said: ‘This Government is determined to improve journeys for all motorists, which is why we’re investing nearly £29 billion to reduce congestion on our roads up to 2025. ‘Looking to the future, our £2.5 billion Transforming Cities Fund will help develop innovative public transport projects, while the tripling of our investment per head in cycling and walking since 2010 is encouraging people to try other ways of getting around – helping create less congested towns and cities.’