Cost of congestion rising

It’s been reported that traffic jams cost the average motorist in the UK upwards of £10,000 every year.

The UK was named the 10th most congested country in the world, with the average motorist facing annual costs of £1,168 for sitting in jams. This is according to traffic information supplier Inrix.

These figures factor in direct costs such as wasted fuel and time as well as indirect consequences, including higher prices for household goods due to increased freighting fees being passed on to consumers.

On average, drivers wasted about 31 hours in traffic jams last year. London was the worst hit, with drivers spending 74 hours (the equivalent of £2,430) in gridlock. Manchester, Birmingham, Luton and Edinburgh completed the top five.

Inrix chief economist Dr Graham Cookson said, ‘The cost of congestion is astonishing. It takes billions out of the economy and impacts businesses and individuals. The average figure for London is £2,430. That’s many times more than what it costs me to insure my car and the cost of the fuel I put in it.’

He continued, ‘Increased flexible working or road charges have potential, however transport authorities should be looking to exciting developments in data analytics and artificial intelligence which promise to reinvent our approach to traffic management.’

In terms of rises in the number of hours lost to queues, Wrexham was up 17%, Mansfield 15% and Bath 12%. North of the border, congestion was down 20% in Aberdeen, 15% in Glasgow and 10% in Edinburgh.