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London is second most congested city in Europe

Drivers in London sat idle in traffic for 82 hours last year – 10 more hours than 2012, making it the most congested UK city and the second worst in Europe, according to a new report.

Traffic congestion was up in nine of the 18 UK cities analysed by traffic information and driver services provider INRIX.

Based on the amount of hours wasted last year in traffic, the UK’s 10 worst metropolitan areas for driving were: 

Rank

UK Metropolitan Area

Hours Wasted in 2013

Change from 2012 (in hours)

1

London commute zone

82

10

2

Gr. Manchester

46

2

3

Merseyside

39

2

4

S. Nottinghamshire

39

4

5

Gr. Birmingham

33

1

6

Gr. Belfast

31

1

7

S. Yorkshire

26

-1

8

Leeds-Bradford

25

2

9

Avon & N. Somerset

24

0

10

Portsmouth-Fareham

24

-1

Traffic congestion across Europe increased approximately 6% in the last three-quarters of the year.

In the UK, drivers wasted approximately 30 hours in traffic congestion in 2013, one more hour than 2012. 

Overall, motorists in the UK spent less time in traffic than fellow drivers in Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany and Luxembourg and approximately 30 fewer hours than travellers in Europe’s worst country for traffic, Belgium.

“So goes traffic, so goes the economy,” said Bryan Mistele, president and CEO, INRIX. “While bad news for drivers, increases in traffic congestion in Europe are signs of a slowly recovering economy.”

The UK economy grew 1.9% in 2013 – its strongest growth since 2007. Unemployment fell steadily throughout the year contributing to the increase in UK traffic congestion as more people headed back to work.  

For the first time, the INRIX Traffic Scorecard this year identifies the worst roads for traffic in the UK and other countries worldwide.

Based on total annual hours of delay in the worst peak period (either morning or evening), the UK’s 10 Worst Roads for Traffic last year were:

Rank

Metropolitan Area

Road(s)

Between

And

Distance (miles)

Worst Peak Period (am /pm)

Total Delay

per Year (hours)

1

London

A4

Central London

The M4

14.2

pm

91

2

London

A4

The M4

Central London

14.7

pm

73

3

London

A215

Camberwell

Croydon turn off

9.55

pm

67

4

London

A217

Morden

Chelsea

10.4

pm

67

5

London

A1/A1(M)

Finchley

Barbican

8.43

pm

66

6

London

A23

Croydon

Westminster

Bridge Road

8.62

pm

63

7

London

A205

Catford

Woolwich Ferry

6.86

pm

60

8

London

A41

Central London

M1

7.54

pm

52

9

London

A12

Stratford

M25

13.6

pm

50

10

London

A406

Chiswick Roundabout

Neasden Junction

5.88

pm

48

Worst roads outside of London

Rank

Metropolitan Area

Road(s)

Between

And

Distance (miles)

Worst Peak Period (am /pm)

Total Delay per

Year (hours)

1

Birmingham

M6

J10 Wolverhampton East

J7 Birmingham (North)

10.22

am

36

2

Edinburgh

A8

Princes Street: Edinburgh

Maybury Road: Edinburgh

5.15

pm

32

3

Glasgow

M8

J13 Provan

J19 Anderston Cross

4.21

pm

26

4

Manchester

A5103

M60 J5: Northenden

Mancunian Way

4.55

am

26

5

Glasgow

M8

J25 Cardonald

J20 Kingston Bridge

8.43

pm

24

6

Edinburgh

A720

Edinburgh Services:

Musselburgh

Wester Hailes

10.27

am

23

7

Manchester

M60

J9 Trafford Park

J13 Worsley

4.88

pm

20

8

Manchester

A580

Boothstown: Worsley

Swinton Park Manchester

7.21

pm

20

9

Chester

A51

Turning for Great Barrow:

Stamford Bridge

The Bars: Chester City Centre

4.57

pm

19

The amount of time British drivers spent in traffic throughout the year has risen slightly, from 29 hours in 2012 to 30 hours in 2013.

This puts the UK in sixth place in Europe, behind Belgium (first), the Netherlands, Germany, France and Luxembourg respectively.

Drivers in Belgium spent almost twice as long in traffic (58 hours) as British drivers in 2013. The most congested European city is Brussels, where drivers spent 83 hours in traffic last year.

Based on the average hours wasted annually across the countries analysed, Europe’s worst countries for traffic congestion in 2013 were:

2013 Rank

2012 Rank

Country

Hours Wasted in Traffic in 2013

Hours Wasted in Traffic in 2012

Change in Hours Wasted from 2012 to 2013

1

1

Belgium

58

58

no change

2

2

Netherlands

44

51

-7

3

4

Germany

35

36

-1

4

3

France

35

37

-2

5

6

Luxembourg

31

28

3

6

5

United Kingdom

30

29

1

7

10

Italy

25

22

3

8

9

Switzerland

25

22

3

9

7

Austria

22

25

-3

10

11

Ireland

20

19

1

11

8

Spain

17

25

-8

12

12

Hungary

9

15

-6

13

13

Portugal

6

11

-5

 

The traffic situation in mainland Europe in 2013

INRIX analysed data from 13 European countries and the congestion landscape generally aligned closely with each country’s economic outlook.

Those nations struggling with high unemployment and low or negative growth in 2013 typically recorded lower traffic congestion than in 2012.

Spain and Portugal are both examples of this trend: in 2013 Spain’s economy contracted by 1.2% and Portugal experienced record unemployment.

The data shows a marked difference from 2012 where all of the European countries saw decreases in congestion.

In 2013, five nations recorded increases in congestion according to the INRIX Index: the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Italy.

The Swiss and British economies both grew by 1.9% in 2013.

Although full-year figures have not been released for Ireland and Luxembourg, estimates show that Ireland is expected to grow by 1.3% and Luxembourg by 1.9% in 2013.

The general trend is that the countries showing increased congestion have a positive economic outlook, while those economies still struggling are experiencing less congested roads.

The INRIX Traffic Scorecard analysed traffic in major metropolitan areas across Europe, providing a comprehensive snapshot into the intractable issues of urban traffic congestion. 

In the countries analysed by the report, the top 25 most congested cities in Europe and annual average hours wasted in traffic are:

2013 Rank

2012 Rank

Metropolitan area

Hours Wasted

in 2013

Annual Change in Hours

from 2012

1

1

Brussels

83

0

2

3

London commute zone

82

9

3

2

Antwerp

78

1

4

4

Rotterdam

63

-8

5

5

Stuttgart

60

-5

6

9

Cologne

56

-2

7

13

Milan

56

5

8

6

Paris

55

-8

9

10

Ghent

54

1

10

15

Karlsruhe

53

5

11

8

Amsterdam

50

-9

12

11

‘s Gravenhage

49

-3

13

14

Dusseldorf

49

-2

14

12

Hamburg

48

-3

15

7

Utrecht

48

-13

16

19

Gr. Manchester

46

1

17

18

Munich

44

-0

18

17

Lyon

44

-3

19

22

Grenoble

42

1

20

20

Charleroi

41

-1

21

16

Bordeaux

41

-5

22

23

Ruhrgebiet

40

0

23

21

Toulouse

39

-1

24

24

Merseyside

39

2

25

25

S. Nottinghamshire

39

3

 

 

 



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