New research has found that in 2018, traffic jams caused a loss of around £8 billion to Britain’s economy.
A study by transport data firm Inrix estimates that the average road user in London lost up to £1,680 due to traffic. This was followed by Edinburgh (£1,219), Manchester (£1,157) and Leicester (£1,145).
Of all the cities studied, Liverpool had the lowest cost of congestion, at £878 per driver.
London and Edinburgh were also dually held as the country’s slowest cities with an average speed of 7mph for journeys into the central business district.
The research also highlighted congestion on individual roads, with The A406 from Chiswick Roundabout to Hanger Lane, west London identified as the slowest route in the country. The average driver spent 61 hours sitting in traffic last year.
Trevor Reed, Inrix transportation analyst 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 also shared his views on the recent study:
“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.”
Table 1: 10 Most Congested Urban Areas in the U.K.
|2018 Impact Rank (2017)||Urban Area||Hours Lost in Congestion (Rank 2018)||Year Over Year Change||Intercity Last Mile-Travel Time (minutes)||Intercity Last-Mile Speed (MPH)||Cost of Congestion per Driver|
|1 (1)||London||227 (1)||1%||8||7||£1,680|
|2 (2)||Birmingham||134 (12)||-4%||5||12||£994|
|3 (3)||Glasgow||99 (16)||4%||6||13||£736|
|4 (7)||Manchester||156 (4)||2%||6||10||£1,157|
|5 (5)||Bristol||149 (9)||0%||8||8||£1,099|
|6 (4)||Edinburgh||165 (3)||10%||8||7||£1,219|
|7 (8)||Sheffield||149 (8)||1%||6||10||£1,101|
|8 (9)||Leicester||155 (5)||-4%||6||11||£1,145|
|9 (10)||Leeds||143 (10)||6%||5||12||£1,057|
|10 (6)||Liverpool||119 (13)||-16%||6||9||£878|
It was recently reported that London is Europe’s second most gridlocked city after Moscow, and these reports now depict just how much damage traffic congestion is causing to productivity in the UK as a whole.
What plans do TfL and all other UK sanctioning bodies have to address these issues? With the ULEZ charge set to be enforced in under a month, will its predicted ‘success’ be the anchor for more traffic enforcements around the UK? Similar to the Clear Air Zone introduction? Expect more developments to follow.