UK traffic worst in Europe

Time wasted in the UK’s worst traffic jams will cost motorists £62bn by 2025, new research has found.

Transport information company Inrix identified more than 20,000 congestion ‘pinch points’ in 21 cities across the UK. Analysis of the average duration, length and frequency of the hold-ups in September this year found that the impact of traffic hotspots will cost London drivers alone £42bn over the next decade.

In Inrix’s analysis, a road becomes a ‘traffic hotspot’ once congestion forces drivers to drop their speed by 65% for at least two minutes.

The report said the capital’s worst section of road for congestion is the M25 northbound between junctions 15 and 16, near Heathrow Airport. Edinburgh was in second place at £2.8bn, followed by Glasgow (£2.3bn), Birmingham (£2bn) and Manchester (£1.9bn).

The estimated £62bn cost to drivers was calculated using value of travel time figures from a Department for Transport-commissioned report. This was more than any other country in Europe, with Germany the next closest at £42bn and Italy third at £19bn.

However there is new hope for UK drivers as Chancellor Philip Hammond promised an extra £1.3bn to be spent on improving Britain’s roads, in his first Autumn Statement. The funds will include £1.1bn for reducing congestion and upgrading local roads while £220m will tackle ‘pinch points’ on England’s motorways and major A roads.

Inrix’s chief economist Graham Cookson said identifying where delays are having the biggest impact can allow for the most efficient use of investment. He said, ‘Let’s make sure we focus spending on those worst-hit hotspots because, given the amount of money, we want to get the most benefit out of it.’