London is Europe's worst city for traffic congestion

Traffic jam
15 Mar, 2016 7:00am Martin Saarinen

Drivers in London spending on average 101 hours a year tackling congestion while the UK average is 30 hours

Despite promises of better road networks and surfaces, UK motorists still spend an average of 30 hours a year sitting in traffic, a new report from technology and transportation analytics INRIX shows.

The report analysed traffic congestion around the UK and Europe and found those living in London spend on average 101 hours a year tackling congestion and traffic – over three times the national average, and the highest in all of Europe. Even cities like Paris and Moscow fell behind the British capital. Worse still is the fact that average time spent in traffic in London rose by 5.2 hours a year compared to 2014. 

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The second most congested area is Greater Manchester, where drivers spend on average 51 hours a year dealing with traffic jams. Overall, traffic levels rose in 11 of the 18 UK metropolitan areas, with cities like Birmingham registering a decline in traffic delays thanks to completed road works. 

Although London tops the charts for the most congested city in Europe, the UK as a whole falls behind many smaller European nations for congestion. The UK is ranked sixth in Europe, behind countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and even Switzerland (which it swapped places with in 2015). Belgium is still Europe’s most congested country, with drivers wasting on average 44 hours a year in traffic.

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The good news is that many of the European countries, UK included, are showing a fall in average time spent in traffic. Bryan Mistele, President & CEO of INRIX, said: “London is the victim of its own success, with a robust jobs market and a growing economy attracting more people, more construction and consequently more traffic.”

Top 10 most congested UK cities

See how your city compares to London...

Rank

UK Metropolitan Area

Hours Wasted in 2015

Change from 2014 (in Hours)

1

London Commute Zone

101

+5.2

2

Gr. Manchester

51

-0.4

3

Gr. Belfast

38

+0.9

4

Merseyside

37

+0.3

5

S. Nottinghamshire

35

+0.6

6

Birmingham / Black Country

34

-2.5

7

Avon & N. Somerset

30

-0.4

8

Leeds-Bradford

29

+0.3

9

Coventry & Warwick

28

+0.3

10

S. Yorkshire

27

-0.3

Top 10 most congested countries in Europe

And how the rest of the EU compares to the UK

European Country 2015 Rank

European Country 2014 Rank

Country

2014 Avg. Hours Wasted

2015 Avg. Hours Wasted

Change from 2014 in Hours

1

1

Belgium

51

44

-6.3

2

2

Netherlands

41

39

-1.5

3

3

Germany

39

38

-0.7

4

4

Luxemburg

34

33

-0.9

5

6

Switzerland

29

30

1.2

6

5

UK

30

30

-0.1

7

7

France

29

28

-0.3

8

8

Austria

25

25

0.4

9

9

Ireland

24

25

0.5

10

10

Italy

20

19

-0.6

11

11

Spain

17

18

0.2

12

12

Portugal

6

6

-0.2

13

13

Hungary

5

5

How much time do you think you waste a year sitting in traffic? Tell us in the comments below...