UK road users lost on average 178 hours each while sitting in traffic costing nearly £8bn a year


Congestion Costs U.K. Nearly £8 Billion in 2018. On average, road users lost 178 hours in congestion last year, costing £1,317 per driver.

INRIX, Inc., the world leader in mobility analytics and connected car services, today published its annual Global Traffic Scorecard that identified and ranked congestion and mobility trends in more than 200 cities across 38 countries.

London led the way with an average of 227 hours per driver spent in congestion, with Birmingham following in second place with drivers spending on average 134 hours. 

London was the only U.K. city in the top 10 most congested cities worldwide, ranking sixth overall for 2018.

The A406 from Chiswick Roundabout to Hanger Lane tops the INRIX list of worst corridors in U.K., with the average driver wasting 61 hours per year in congestion. 

The A23, the Strand and Leeds Road and the A34 in Birmingham make up the top 5.

Edinburgh and London tie for title of U.K. slowest city, with last mile speeds of 7 MPH, meaning it is faster to ride a bike than drive or take the bus. 

Of the cities studied worldwide, Dublin, Ireland has the slowest city centre speeds, averaging 6 MPH during peak hours In the U.K., the 2018 Traffic Scorecard analysed congestion and the severity of it in the top 20 urban areas. 

Drivers in the U.K. lost an average of 178 hours a year due to congestion, costing drivers £7.9 billion in 2018, an average of £1,317 per driver. London (227 hours lost due to congestion) and Birmingham (165 hours) ranked as the two most congested cities in the U.K. by INRIX overall impact of congestion ranking. 

(Traffic in London at a standstill) 

London drivers lost up to £1,680 per year due to congestion, followed by Edinburgh (£1,219), Manchester (£1,157) and Leicester (£1,145). Glasgow had the lowest cost of congestion among the U.K. cities studied at £736 per driver. “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,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX. 

He added: “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.”

The final results were recorded as follows: Table 1: 10 Most Congested Urban Areas in the U.K. Figures in brackets( ) are from 2017 rankings. 1 (1) London   

2 (2) Birmingham 3 (3) Glasgow  4 (7) Manchester  5 (5) Bristol  6 (4) Edinburgh  7 (8) Sheffield  8 (9) Leicester  9 (10) Leeds  10 (6) Liverpool  The Most Congested Corridors in the U.K. The A406 from Chiswick Roundabout to Hanger Lane tops the INRIX list of worst corridors in U.K., with the average driver wasting 61 hours per year in congestion. The A23, the Strand and Leeds Road and the A34 in Birmingham make up the top 5. 

(Congestion in Birmingham comes in at second place)

Table 2: 20 Most Congested U.K. Roads in 2018 1 London A406|North Circular Road Chiswick Roundabout Hanger Lane  2 London A23 Kennington Thornton Road  3 London Kingsway|Strand|Fleet|Cannon Street Russell Square Monument  4 Leeds Leeds Road|Saltaire Road Harrogate Road Bradford Road  5 Birmingham A34|Stratford Road Highfield Road Highgate Middleway  6 London A406|North Circular Road A1 A10  7 London A2103 Canary Warf Tower of London  8 Birmingham A34|Stratford Road Highgate Middleway Highfield Road  9 Leeds Huddersfield Road|Leeds Road Dewsbury Huddersfield  10 Manchester Bury New Road Higher Broughton M60  11 Manchester Bramhall Lane South Bridge Lane Stockport  12 Birmingham Dudley Port Black Country New Road Dudley  13 Manchester Chapel|Crescent|Broad Street Victoria Bridge M60  14 Glasgow Great Western Road Kelvinside Bearsden Road  15 Birmingham Soho Hill|Birmingham Road Icknield Street M5 

Commenting on the report, Glynn Barton, Director of Network Management at TfL, said: 

“We are taking bold action to reduce congestion and improve London’s poor air quality. This includes removing the Congestion Charge exemption for private hire vehicles and reducing the time taken to clear up unplanned incidents, ensuring that roadworks by utilities companies and others are better coordinated. We are also working with the freight industry to encourage more efficient deliveries across the capital.” “To directly tackle poor air quality, we are ensuring that buses, taxis and private hire vehicles are as green as possible, alongside the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone this April. In delivering the Mayor’s ambitious plans for 80 per cent of all journeys to be made by public transport, walking or cycling by 2041, our plans will further help tackle congestion across London.” INRIX Research Methodology

INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard is not directly comparable to the 2017 Traffic Scorecard due to different metrics and criteria of analysis. The 2017 Scorecard measured time spent in congestion for the median commuter whereas the 2018 Scorecard not only analyses time lost, but also the severity of congestion. The 2018 INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard that calculates time lost in congestion by employing peak, off-peak and free flow data. Peak corresponds to the absolute worst portion of the morning and afternoon commute. Off-peak is the low point between the peak periods. An economic analysis was performed to estimate the total cost to the average driver in a city, and a total cost to the city population. Worst corridors are limited to those that have the highest traffic volume and are ranked by the average hours of delay per driver in 2018. Additional metrics are available online and in the full report. 

Image credit: London traffic; 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Author: Mike Malone

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