Fleet News

Gridlock on UK roads costs the economy £4.3 billion

Congestion costs Britain’s economy more than £4.3 billion or approximately £491 per car commuting household, according to a new report by INRIX and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

The costs are based on wasted time and fuel, as well as indirect costs to UK households resulting from businesses passing the costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices. 

Direct costs (fuel and time):

  • Fuel: More than £426 million is wasted on fuel alone - that’s £52 worth of fuel cost per-car commuter for 8.2 million British commuting drivers
  • Time: The average cost of time wasted in gridlock per commuter equates to £331 – that’s a total national time cost of £2.7 billion

Indirect costs (rising cost of goods and services):

  • Household Goods:  19% of traffic during the daily commute is business or freight vehicles and as a result over £1.1 billion indirect costs are passed on to British households each year
  • Per Household: Gridlock costs each British household living in urban areas £107 annually due to the increased cost of goods and services passed on by British businesses.

Bryan Mistele, CEO of INRIX, said: “Traffic congestion impacts everything from how long it takes us to get to work and the amount of fuel we consumer in our vehicles to the costs of food at the grocery store.

“As the UK continues facing times of austerity and high unemployment, the study indicates the efficient movement of people and commerce across our road networks is essential to fostering a healthy, vibrant economy.”

Gridlock costs soar in the capital

Just 33% of London’s residents commute to work by car, however 40% of all UK gridlock costs occur in London, with commuting drivers spending 66.1 hours stuck in traffic jams annually.

In fact the average Londoner travelling to work by car spends nearly two working weeks in traffic.

  • Per hour the cost of idling in traffic in London is £15.19 compared to the UK national average of £12.51.
  • Individual annual costs per commuting household are highest in London with gridlock costing household around £1003.58 annually in fuel, time and the indirect cost of household goods.
  • In direct costs alone gridlock costs London car-commuters £1.65 billion in gridlock, put into context this means that for every £10 of direct and indirect costs caused by congestion in the UK, approximately £4 occurs in the capital.

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