Official: British roads are Europe’s most congested

19 Feb, 2014 4:18pm Alex Yau

Britain’s roads are the busiest in Europe, but they’re also among the safest according to new figures

New research has put the official stamp on what many British motorists have long suspected: that our roads are the busiest and most congested in Europe.  

Figures gathered by World Bank reveal that there are 77 vehicles per kilometre of British road. That’s 76 per cent higher than the European average. In comparison, Norwegian roads, which are the quietest in Europe, have just 29 vehicles per kilometre of road.

Yet despite these figures, British motorists can drive safely knowing their roads are some of the safest in the world. Just 28 people were killed on our roads per million of population in 2012. That’s the second lowest total in the EU after Malta.

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There were 33,760 road deaths in the US throughout 2012. That’s one of the highest road fatality figures in the developed world and is three times higher than the UK fatality rate. A total of 1.24 million people are killed in road accidents around the world each year.

Although traffic has increased, UK road deaths have declined steadily. 7.700 deaths were recorded in 1972, 5,500 in the mid ‘80s and 1,754 in 2012. The current average is five deaths a day.

Serious injuries have decreased by 62 per cent since that date. Less serious injuries make up the main casualty numbers. 171,000 of these were recorded in 2012, but there could be more, as 40 per cent of whiplash claims go unreported. 

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Cue another round of exorbitant fuel duty rises, with this as the justification.

Despite what you see on Road Wars, we're one of the better driving nations in the world.

I think one of the big reasons why our roads are the most congested is the shear amount of HGV's clogging up 2 out of the 3 motorway lanes to a slow 50/55MPH leaving just one lane for overtaking.

I personally quite like the proposal of banning them off the roads during peak times, or get them to pay a penalty if they do have to travel during these times. obviously pay the drivers a little more to compensate for the unsocial-able hours.

It makes sense to try and clear up the roads as not only does is cost us the public time and fuel sitting in traffic, but it also has a big impact on the economy.

Gridlock reduces accidents as nothing can move at all! My experience of driving abroad is limited to France which IMHO has as many bad drivers as the UK but rather more good ones. The standard amongst small delivery vehicles is noticeably higher which is always a surprise. Presumably the combination of less busy roads than the UK and a lower proportion of "Mr. Averages" to clog things up, has an effect on statistics.

Yet still we stick to the speed limit set in the 60s - damaging for business, the environment, driver stress / concentration & fuel consumption.

Let's drag this country into the 21st Century and raise motorway limits where & when appropriate!

Despite some bad drivers in UK, we in UK are the 'better' and 'safer' drivers than many places in world, and believe me i been to some places that drive badly and it is regarded as 'normal' but what is ironic is that insurance is still damm expensive, insurance companies = bunch of clowns