City commutes grind to a halt

Nightmare commutes could soon be the norm around the UK, with average driving speeds falling within some of the UK’s major cities in just one year.

The survey by telematics experts In-car Cleverness found London to be the worst offender for commuters, with average driving speeds five miles from the centre reaching just 8mph. Since 2016, speeds within one mile of the centre have dropped by more than a mile per hour, with the average driver now barely registering 5mph.

The study analysed nearly 400,000 journeys over the same three-month period in 2016 and 2017, measuring average miles per hour achieved when driving within a five-mile radius of major city centres.

Motorists aren’t faring well in Edinburgh either, as drivers slow to less than 7mph toward the centre of the Scottish capital, whilst roads in Manchester are giving commuters cause for concern. Driving speeds within one mile of the centre of Manchester have dropped by nearly 2mph in just a year, with motorists now averaging just over 6mph.

The most recent statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT) estimated that 68% of people are driving as part of their commute, meaning that millions of motorists around the UK’s busiest cities could be losing significant time otherwise spent at home or work.

Its data also shows that between April 2016 and March 2017, traffic volumes rose 1.7% – a new record high of 324.3 billion miles.

Paul O’Dowd, head of sales at In-car Cleverness, said, ‘The figures paint a stark picture of how everyday commuters, drivers and even businesses are struggling to get around or operate in some of the biggest hubs in the UK. It is likely down to a few factors. Overall traffic volumes are higher and this increase will be most noticeable in urban areas. As well as more traffic on the roads, major cities are increasingly introducing tighter speed restrictions while adopting more bus lanes, as well as cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

‘Traffic-management technology is becoming readily-available to drivers and businesses who are being robbed of time and money, the technology can help avoid these costly traffic jams and save time.’

In-car Cleverness’ telematics service features a mapping facility that gives businesses the ability to view live traffic and divert drivers away from heavy traffic and congestion.