UK traffic jams "cost motorists £30bn"

20/02/2017
Highways Reporters

Traffic information company INRIX has published its Traffic Scorecard for roads around the world, which says that the UK is the fourth most congested country in the world, which costs drivers £30.8 bn per year. 

Based on a new methodology, the analysis has increased to 1,064 cities across 38 countries, making what the company says is the largest ever study of congestion.

The UK the third most congested in Europe, with drivers spending an average of 32 hours a year in congestion during peak hours.  For the first time, the INRIX Traffic Scorecard also includes the direct and indirect costs of congestion to all UK motorists, which amounted to £30.8 billion in 2016, an average of £968 per driver1.

In the UK, the 2016 Traffic Scorecard analysed congestion in 87 cities and large urban areas. London remains the UK’s most congested city, and ranks 2nd in Europe after Moscow and 7th in the world. Drivers in London spent an average of 73 hours in gridlock during peak hours. This contributed to congestion costing London drivers £1,911 each and the capital as a whole £6.2 billion from direct and indirect costs. Direct costs relate to the value of fuel and time wasted, and indirect costs relate to freighting and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic, which are passed on to household bills through higher prices.

Along with the capital, Manchester, Aberdeen, Birmingham and Edinburgh make up the UK’s five most congested cities. Drivers in Manchester spent 39 hours in congestion during peak hours, and 10% of their total drive time (peak and non-peak hours) in gridlock, costing each driver £1,136 and the city £233 million. Motorists in Birmingham spent 9% of their total drive time in congestion last year, costing the city £407 million. Major cities in Scotland feature high-up in the UK ranking, with Aberdeen and Edinburgh placing 3rd and 5th respectively. The combined cost to both cities in 2016 was £363 million.

“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 as the 2016 Traffic Scorecard demonstrates,” said Graham Cookson, Chief Economist, INRIX.  “The cost of this congestion is staggering, stripping the economy of billions, impacting businesses and costing consumers dearly. To tackle this problem, we must consider bold options such as remote working, wider use of road user charging and investment in big data to create more effective and intelligent transportation systems.”

You can read the whole report here.

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