Traffic jams cost economy £9 billion a year

The UK's worst traffic jams revealed in a new study, as the Government recommends using slip roads as contraflows in the future

Traffic jam

The UK’s worst traffic jams have been revealed in a new study that found tailbacks cost the economy £9 billion a year.

Research by traffic analysts Inrix shows drivers encountered 1.35 million traffic jams in the UK in 2016, accounting to over 3,700 every day. The estimated costs are calculated as a result of wasted time, fuel economy and pollution. 

• London is Europe's worst city for traffic congestion

The worst traffic jam occurred on 4 August on the M5 in Somerset after two lorries collided. The 36-mile tailback took workers 15 hours to clear and was estimated to cost £2.4 million. Other big accidents included three separate incidents on the M6 between November last year and April this year. Each of the incidents caused at least seven hours of delays, with the worst – occurring on Junction 32 on 13 December causing 10 hours of disruption.

The Government is said to be demanding highways agencies work quicker to reduce delays caused by accidents on motorways and A-roads. According to a letter seen by The Times from transport minister Jesse Norman to Highways England, the Government is now urging agencies to consider using sliproads as contraflows to clear traffic quicker among other solutions. 

In the letter, following an incident on the M3, transport minister Norman said that he wanted to “ensure that disruption to motorists and communities is minimized during and after events such as this.”

He added: “A particular feature shown in the media was the availability of empty slip roads, and I would be interested to know whether you considered if these could be used as contraflow to move traffic off the motorway.”

Highways England said it cleared 85 per cent of motorway and A-road incidents within the hour. 

What's the longest traffic jam you've been stuck in? Tell us in the comments below... 

Recommended

All mobile phone use behind the wheel to be banned
Van mobile phone
News

All mobile phone use behind the wheel to be banned

A Government consultation seeks to update UK law in line with modern technology and close loopholes allowing drivers to take pictures and video at the…
16 Oct 2020
VED road tax: how much does it cost?
car tax calculator
Consumer news

VED road tax: how much does it cost?

Confused by VED road tax? Our comprehensive guide explains how much you'll pay on your next car
25 Sep 2020
Dartford Crossing toll: follow our guide and avoid a fine!
Dartford Crossing bridge
Consumer news

Dartford Crossing toll: follow our guide and avoid a fine!

Read our complete Dartford Crossing guide for when and how to pay the Dart Charge, along with guidance on appealing a fine
25 Sep 2020
Should you buy or lease your new car?
Tips & advice

Should you buy or lease your new car?

Should you buy or lease your new car? That is the big question facing millions of people who are eyeing up a new set of wheels, we talk you through th…
23 Sep 2020

Most Popular

Honda axes diesel power in the UK
Honda

Honda axes diesel power in the UK

Honda has quietly phased-out its diesel-powered models in Britain
19 Oct 2020
New Audi RS e-tron GT electric supercar to boast around 700bhp
Audi e-tron GT

New Audi RS e-tron GT electric supercar to boast around 700bhp

The hot Audi RS e-tron GT will use a triple-electric motor set-up and our exclusive images preview how it could look
16 Oct 2020
New 2022 Mercedes EQE electric saloon to rival Tesla Model S
Mercedes EQE

New 2022 Mercedes EQE electric saloon to rival Tesla Model S

The all-electric Mercedes EQE saloon will below the EQS limousine when it arrives in 2022 and our exclusive images preview how it could look
15 Oct 2020