Fleet News

Lost working hours in jams a key concern

Loss of work caused by traffic congestion is one of the main business concerns for a quarter of senior managers.

Almost 25% of HR and finance directors at a range of companies said increased congestion was harming the UK’s competitiveness, according to research by LeasePlan.

When asked which transport-related issues were likely to affect their business over the next three years, 24% saw congestion and road pricing as a major issue, up 16% since a similar survey six months ago.

The research comes in the wake of Department for Transport figures showing that motorists are driving further and spending longer on the road.

The average UK resident travelled 7,100 miles in 2006, a 2% increase in the past decade.

The average trip length rose by 7% to 6.9 miles, although the number of trips per person per year fell 4% to 1,040. The average person now spends 383 hours on the road each year, a rise of 4%.

Earlier this year, research from Trafficmaster and the RAC Foundation found that 20% of company car drivers spend more than five hours a week stuck in traffic. The CBI estimates that congestion costs the UK economy as much as £20 billion a year in resources and lost time.

David Brennan, LeasePlan’s managing director, said: “There is no doubt that traffic congestion is worsening and is expected to increase by a further 15% by 2015, according to the DfT.

“It has the potential to seriously affect our economy. The government’s green agenda is a laudable one, but businesses need to know that there is a commitment to reducing traffic congestion that doesn’t just add cost for firms with no clear association benefit.

While there is evidence that the London congestion charge has helped reduce traffic levels, clear and tangible benefits of schemes of this nature must be communicated to businesses.

“The sheer volume of traffic on our roads is a serious issue that needs to be addressed right now.

Failure to do so could lead to company car drivers spending longer in jams and the UK business community becoming uncompetitive.”

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