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London’s title as world's slowest city for motorists, comes as no surprise to taxi drivers

A recent report by satellite navigation company TomTom has declared London as the world's slowest city for drivers, a statement that has resonated with taxi drivers who regularly navigate the city's streets.

The 13th edition of the TomTom Traffic Index, which analysed traffic trends in 387 cities across 55 countries, places London at the forefront of urban congestion.

The TomTom Traffic Index is a comprehensive study based on data from over 600 million in-car navigation systems and smartphones. This data helps to calculate the average travel time per kilometer in each city, considering both city centres and wider metropolitan areas. For 2023, the report noted a general decline in average speeds in most cities. Of the 387 cities analysed, 82 maintained their average speed, 77 saw an increase in average speed, indicating shorter journey times, while 228 experienced a decrease in average speeds.

Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), commented on the report, noting that the findings align with the experiences of those who drive in central London. He criticised the response from Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor's office to the report, suggesting a lack of planning and coordination in addressing the city's traffic issues.

McNamara said in Taxi Newspaper: “You may have seen the story last week from the satellite navigation company, Tom Tom, with data showing that London is officially the world’s slowest city for drivers. This was not news to anyone who has to drive in central London on a regular basis.

“The report made the media only because it gave 20mph speed limits as the primary cause of the congestion, prompting press releases from TfL and the Mayor with a plethora of excuses and statistics, all in an effort to blame anyone and everything other than themselves and their atrocious lack of planning or joined up thinking over the entire road network.

“I was more than happy to pop up and tell it how it is in the course of a few radio and TV interviews. Unsurprisingly, no one from TfL or City Hall was prepared to come on and debate the issue with me!”


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