UK remains Europe’s third most congested country

11.30 | 6 February 2018 |

Image: Highways England

The UK was Europe’s third most traffic-congested country in 2017, with drivers spending an average of 31 hours in traffic during peak hours annually.

The INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, published on 6 February, ranks the impact of traffic congestion in 1,360 cities across 38 countries worldwide – the largest study of its kind.

The annual scorecard ranks the UK behind Russia and Turkey in Europe, and in tenth position globally.

However, the average time UK drivers spent in peak time traffic did fall by one hour from 2016.

The report also suggests that direct and indirect costs of delayed journeys reached £37.7bn last year – an average of £1,136 per driver.

In terms of cities, London was the UK’s most congested for the 10th consecutive year, with drivers spending 74 hours a year in traffic jams during peak times. These delays cost drivers in the Capital more than twice the national average at £2,430 per person – and more than £9.5bn as a whole.

Manchester came second, followed by Birmingham, Luton, Edinburgh, Bournemouth and Bristol (=6th), Newcastle, Coventry and Liverpool.

While Edinburgh featured in the top 10, the scorecard shows that Scottish cities have made ‘significant improvements’ from 2016, with Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh reducing peak hour congestion by 20%, 15% and 10% respectively.

Dr. Graham Cookson, chief economist at INRIX, said: “Combined with the rising price of motoring, the cost of congestion is astonishing – it takes billions out of the economy and impacts businesses and individuals alike.

“With the Office of National Statistics showing more cars on the road than ever before, we need to consider innovative new approaches to solving the issue.

“Increased flexible working or road charges have potential; however, transport authorities should be looking to exciting developments in data analytics and artificial intelligence which promise to reinvent our approach to traffic management.”


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