The average road user in London loses up to £1,680 every year due to traffic jams, new analysis has shown.
‘Congestion costs Brits billions of pounds each year. Unaddressed, it will continue to have serious consequences for national and local economies, businesses and citizens in the years to come’
Trevor Reed, Inrix
Road congestion in the UK costs the economy nearly £8bn annually, according to transport data firm Inrix, which also looked at where drivers are most likely to be held up while travelling.
Elsewhere in the UK, Inrix calculated that motorists in Edinburgh are losing up to £1,219, while drivers in Manchester are losing up to £1,157, and those in Leicester as much as £1,145.
Liverpool, at £878 per driver, had the lowest cost of congestion among the cities studied in the report.
The UK’s motorways are often too busy (PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
Sitting in traffic
London and Edinburgh are said to be the UK’s slowest cities. In the capitals, the average speed for journeys on the road into central business districts came out at just 7mph during peak hours.
The A406 from Chiswick Roundabout to Hanger Lane (the North Circular), west London, topped the Inrix list of the worst traffic corridors, with the average driver wasting 61 hours per year in congestion in 2018.
But the A406 isn’t alone. There are a number of roads where hold ups are painfully frequent – and costly.
– Leeds Road/Saltaire Road from Harrogate Road to Bradford Road, Leeds (44 hours per year wasted)
– A34 in Birmingham from Highfield Road to Highgate Middleway (44 hours per year wasted)
– Bury New Road from Higher Broughton to M60 (34 hours per year wasted)
While most of the affected areas are in London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Leeds, two other spots were also revealed as areas to avoid:
– in the Midlands, Dudley Port to the Black Country New Road (32 hours per year wasted)
– The Great Western Road to Kelvinside in Glasgow (31 hours per year wasted)
Costs of congestion
Congestion cost the UK an estimated £7.9 billion last year, which works out at an average of £1,317 per driver. So even those in emptier rural areas are affected.
Costs associated with slow-moving traffic include making it harder to transport goods, reduced productivity, raised pollution and increased accident levels.
The research found that London is the sixth most gridlocked city in the world when population is taken into account. Moscow tops the list, ahead of Istanbul, Bogota, and Mexico City.
It isn’t just London where roads are oversubscribed (Photo: PA)
Inrix transportation analyst Trevor Reed said: “Congestion costs Brits billions of pounds each year.
“Unaddressed, it will continue to have serious consequences for national and local economies, businesses and citizens in the years to come.
“In order to avoid traffic congestion becoming a further drain on our economy, it is increasingly obvious that authorities need to adapt.
“With the help of new and innovative intelligent transportation solutions, we can begin to tackle the mobility issues we face today.”
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Last year UK drivers told us that they are actually becoming more, not less reliant on using their cars – with struggling public transport cited as one of the reasons.
“This is a serious concern when you consider the limited physical space in our cities and the growing pressures to move large numbers of people around to get to their places of work and leisure.”
Additional reporting by PA