Congestion costs spark concern

New research has found that the UK has become the third most congested country in Europe, with motorists spending more than a day each year stuck in rush-hour traffic.

According to the research by transport firm INRIX, the overall cost per UK driver in wasted fuel and lost hours was £1,168.

Bike-share boss Julian Scriven, MD of nextbike UK, said the findings were not surprising but should act as a wake-up call for people to think about other modes of transport in the UK.

‘The fact that drivers in UK cities now spend more than a day each year stuck in rush-hour traffic proves that current transport options are not working’ he said.

‘Being the third most-congested country in Europe is not something we should be proud of. It is bad for the economy, bad for the environment and bad for the pockets of drivers who are sat crawling along to work in rush-hour traffic.

‘While bike-share schemes don’t hold all of the answers, they can certainly play an integral part of a wider solution. We need to see bike-share schemes and cycling as a whole embraced more widely up and down the country by planners, local authorities and by the general public to help ease the problem.’

Mr Scriven welcomed an announcement from the Department for Transport (DfT), which said it was investing £23bn in road schemes to reduce congestion. But warned that new schemes must consider other transport options alongside cars.

‘It’s great news that the Department for Transport is investing £23bn, but we must ensure that some of that money is being spent on improving cycling infrastructure to offer people viable alternatives to automatically getting behind the wheel of their car.’