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British drivers spend 29 hours in gridlock

Last year British drivers spent 29 hours stuck in traffic gridlock, down 19% on 2011, with Brits spending seven hours less in congestion, according to INRIX’s Annual Traffic Scorecard.

Overall motorists in the UK spent less time in traffic than fellow drivers in Germany, France and the Netherlands and a massive 30 hours less than travellers in Europe’s most congested country Belgium.

Traffic levels continued to decline steadily in the first quarter of 2013, with initial results indicating congestion in the UK is down 11% year on year and drivers are spending around an hour less in gridlock than in the first quarter of 2012. 

Insights from INRIX’s Annual Traffic Scorecard reveal traffic fell 18% across Europe and 19% in the UK as EU countries faced challenging economic conditions. 

Traffic patterns in 2013 continue on a downward spiral, with Q1 of 2013 showing a further 23% decline in European congestion, with drivers across Europe spending 27 hours combined less in traffic compared to the same time last year suggesting that the EU economy could be facing another tough year.

According to the INRIX Index, Europe’s Worst Countries for Traffic Congestion in 2012 were:

Country

 Hours wasted in traffic in 2012

 % Change 2012 from 2011

 % Change Q1 2012 - Q1 2013

Unemployment Rate

Belgium

59

-12%

-1%

7.4%

Netherlands

52

-15%

-26%

5.8%

Germany

37

-14%

-23%

10.5%

France

37

-12%

-6%

5.4%

UK

29

-19%

-11%

7.9%

Luxembourg

29

+29%

+38%

5.1%

Austria

25

-19%

-39%

4.5%

Spain

25

-38%

-57%

26.6%

Switzerland

23

-11%

0%

3.2%

Italy

22

-34%

-33%

11.1%

Ireland

19

-9%

-10%

14.7%

Hungary

15

-24%

-74%

10.9%

Portugal

11

-21%

-68%

16.3%

 

“There has always been strong correlation between the state of the economy and the level of traffic congestion on our roads,” said Bryan Mistele, CEO, INRIX. 

“It tells us if people are employed and driving to work, going out to eat or doing some shopping, as well as whether or not businesses are shipping products.

“Considering unemployment hit record highs in 2012 and European household wealth dropped 13.6% to $10.9 trillion it’s hardly surprising that traffic levels have dropped significantly.”

UK City Snapshot: Looking Back at 2012

The UK capital, London, has moved up the European traffic congestion ranks to become the third most congested city in Europe in 2012.

Manchester also climbed the European ranks moving from 20th to 18th place.

Even with the jump in European rankings, all 18 UK cities analysed showed declines in traffic congestion throughout the year indicative of the impact of rising unemployment and fuel prices combined with declines in consumer spending.

Drivers in London spent a full three days of 2012 sitting in traffic, that’s over a day more than the UK’s second most congested city Manchester, where drivers spent 45 hours in congestion.

However even in London traffic levels continues to drop, with congestion down 9% year on year. In Belfast traffic dropped 20% and the city moved down the UK rankings from 4th to 6th place. 

 

Rank

UK City

 Hours wasted in 2012

 Hours wasted in 2011

 % drop since 2011

1

London commute zone

72

79

-9%

2

Gr. Manchester

45

54

-17%

3

Merseyside

37

43

-13%

4

S. Nottinghamshire

36

38

-6%

5

Gr. Birmingham

32

36

-10%

6

Gr. Belfast

31

39

-20%

7

Gr. Edinburgh

28

34

-18%

8

S. Yorkshire

27

33

-17%

9

Leeds-Bradford

27

34

-20%

10

Portsmouth-Fareham

25

32

-22%

11

Avon & N. Somerset

25

28

-12%

12

Tyne & Wear

24

38

-38%

13

N. Staffordshire

21

28

-24%

14

Gr. Coventry

21

28

-25%

15

Leicestershire

21

26

-19%

16

Glasgow

21

31

-32%

17

Cardiff & Valleys

19

27

-29%

18

Kingston-upon-Hull

18

25

-28%

 

 

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