UK drivers spend 32 hours stuck in traffic a year

Congestion costs drivers £968 a year on average, with Londoners paying £1,911 for sitting in traffic

Traffic

Britain's roads are the third most congested in Europe, with traffic problems costing drivers £30.8 billion a year. This comes from a new study that found British drivers spend on average 32 hours a year stuck in traffic. 

The study by traffic analysts Inrix found Britain is only behind Russia and Turkey for congestion in Europe. London, however, remains the second most congested city in the continent, where drivers were found to spend 73 hours on average stuck in traffic in 2016. 

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The world's worst traffic 2016

RankCountry2016 Peak Hours Spent in Congestion
1Thailand61
2Colombia47
2Indonesia47
4Russia42
4U.S.42
6Venezuela39
7South Africa38
8Brazil37
8Puerto Rico37
10Turkey34
11UK32

Compared to previous years, congestion levels in London have fallen from 101 hours to 73 hours in 2016, but have risen across the UK from 30 hours to 32 hours. Manchester and Aberdeen are the second and third most congested cities in Britain, with drivers spending on average 39 and 35 hours stuck in traffic. 

The UK's worst cities for Traffic congestion

 

Rank

 

 

City

 

 

2016 Peak hours spent in congestion

 

 

Total cost per driver in 2016

 

 

Total cost to city in 2016

 

 

1

 

 

London

 

 

73

 

 

£1,911

 

 

£6.2bn

 

 

2

 

 

Manchester

 

 

39

 

 

£1,136

 

 

£233m

 

 

3

 

 

Aberdeen

 

 

35

 

 

£1,331

 

 

£138m

 

 

4

 

 

Birmingham

 

 

34

 

 

£990

 

 

£407m

 

 

5

 

 

Edinburgh

 

 

31

 

 

£1,009

 

 

£225m

 

 

6

 

 

Guildford

 

 

29

 

 

£812

 

 

£44m

 

 

7

 

 

Luton

 

 

29

 

 

£965

 

 

£72m

 

 

8

 

 

Bournemouth

 

 

27

 

 

£1,019

 

 

£84m

 

 

9

 

 

Hull

 

 

27

 

 

£970

 

 

£109m

 

 

10

 

 

Bristol

 

 

27

 

 

£845

 

 

£154m

 

The study analysed 87 cities and large urban areas in the UK and found the cost from wasting fuel, time and productivity for all drivers totalled £30.8 billion in 2016, an average of £968 per driver. Congestion was found to cost Londoners £1,911 a year, and £1,136 and £1,331 for those in Manchester and Aberdeen. Fees for Aberdeen are higher than Manchester as a higher proportion of driving is said to take place during peak congestion hours in Aberdeen than in Manchester.  

The world's worst cities for traffic congestion

RankGlobal CityCountry2016 Peak Hours Spent in Congestion
1Los AngelesUS104
2MoscowRussia91
3New YorkUS89
4San FranciscoUS83
5BogotaColombia80
6Sao PauloBrazil77
7LondonUK73
8AtlantaUS71
9ParisFrance65
10MiamiUS65

Graham Cookson, chief economists at Inrix said: "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 as the 2016 Traffic Scorecard demonstrates." 

Cookson also advocated the use of road tolls and other fees to cut congestion: "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.” 

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A Department for Transport spokesman said: "As announced in the autumn 2016 statement, we are also spending a further £1.3 billion over the course of this parliament to relieve congestion and provide important upgrades to ensure that our roads are fit for the future." 

How much time do you spend stuck in traffic? Tell us in the comments below....

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