UK Drivers Frustrated By Congestion
Figures released recently by Inrix, well-known traffic analysts, show that UK drivers spend 32 hours stuck in traffic on average on our roads every year. And if you drive regularly in London, be prepared to look at 73 hours on average per year.
London is, in fact, Europe’s second most congested city. Worldwide only 6 cities experience worse traffic conditions. And in Europe only Moscow is worse. In the UK Manchester and Aberdeen take second and third spot (data sourced by The Car Buying Group). Drivers in those two cities spend on average 39 and 35 hours stuck in traffic. They are followed by Birmingham, Edinburgh, Guildford and Luton.
As a country we rank 11th in the world – and third in Europe – for worst traffic conditions in terms of traffic jams. Thailand tops the list. In Europe only Russia and Turkey are worse off. That is probably enough to get anybody’s blood up. It may be no excuse, but this scenario probably plays a role in rude behaviour on our roads.
Graham Cookson, chief economist at Inrix says, “Despite Brexit, 2016 saw the UK economy remaining stable, fuel prices staying low and employment growing to an 11-year high, all of which incentivizes road travel and helped increase congestion…”
This sentiment is echoed by Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation. Mr Gooding says,“ Road Congestion is a high price to pay for having a successful economy, and the risk is that gridlock starts to strangle growth.”
Another theory speculates that our modern lifestyles may contribute to the problem: Online shopping has been mentioned as a culprit. There are more delivery vans on our roads than ever before. A high increase in this regard has been noticed during the last five years. These vans run on diesel, which contributes to our clean air problem, especially in London.
Cost to drivers
It also costs the country’s drivers £30.8bn every year in terms of lost man power, overall productivity and wasting fuel. That works out to an average of £968 per driver.
According to a Department for Transport spokesperson funds will be made available to help alleviate the worst congestion. A figure of £1.3bn was mentioned.
Are there solutions?
AA President Edmund King feels that working habits should change to help solve the problem, “Employers could help ease the situation by introducing flexible working hours or home-based employment and we also need to improve the efficiency of white van deliveries as light vans are the fastest area of traffic growth.”