UK traffic congestion rates amongst worst across Europe

UK traffic congestion rates amongst worst across Europe

The UK was recently listed as the tenth most congested country in the world and the third most congested in Europe, behind only Russia and Turkey. According to new research, traffic congestion cost UK motorists more than £37.7 billion in 2017.

The Inrix 2017 Global Traffic Scorecard, which analysed data from connected cars and devices across 38 countries, including 11 cities and towns across the UK, found that the cost of congestion for all UK drivers came to more than £37.7 billion in 2017, or on average £1,168 per driver.

The most congested city according to Inrix has been listed as London, which sees motorists spend approximately 74 hours a year caught up in peak time congestion, costing each motorist £2,430 per year, or £9.5 billion across the city as a whole, which is up £6.2 billion from £3.3 billion in 2016.

After London, came Manchester in the list with drivers spending 39 hours in gridlock and an average of 10% of their total drive time consisted of being stuck in traffic.

However, Scottish cities were found to have made significant improvements from 2016 research, with Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh reducing peak hours in congestion by 20%, 15% and 10%, putting pressure on the rest of the UK to catch up and start reducing this figure.

The report also ranked the worst roads across the UK, with the A406 Northbound from Chiswick roundabout to Hangar Lane, where drivers spent 56 hours each, on average stuck in congestion last year.

Then there was the A34 from Robin Hood Lane in Birmingham which was the most congested road outside of London and the fourth worst in the UK overall, with drivers on average spending 44 hours in gridlock last year.

Dr Graham Cookson, Inrix chief economist, said: “Increased flexible working or road charges have potential, however, transport authorities should be looking to exciting developments in data analytics and AI which promise to reinvent our approach to traffic management.”

Chris Dyer, Infrastructure Asset Management Expert at Yotta, had similar views.

“If highway maintenance organisations are to minimise their contribution to the issue of traffic-congestion and support economic growth they must adopt modern approaches to asset management, embracing new technologies to exploit the breadth of data available to inform and enhance their planning decisions,” he said.