Fleet News

Traffic congestion ‘crisis’ hitting SME profits


More than 40% of businesses are losing money as a result of traffic congestion, according to new research from Close Brothers Asset Finance. 

In its quarterly survey, the company found that 83% of firms feel that traffic congestion is a ‘problem’. 

41% of respondents said their profits were affected by congestion and the same percentage of SMEs said they are unable to trade at full capacity. 

In London the problem is particularly acute, where 62% are struggling to trade properly and 57% losing profits. 

 “A recent study confirmed that UK drivers wasted on average of 31 hours in rush-hour traffic last year, costing each motorist £1,168,” said Neil Davies, CEO, Close Brothers Asset Finance. 

“The UK is the world’s 10th most congested country and London is Europe’s second most gridlocked city after Moscow. Manchester, Birmingham, Luton and Edinburgh complete the UK’s top five major areas affected. 

“As an example, one of our employees recently spent over nine hours in a traffic jam after the Dartford crossing was closed. This effectively meant that as a business we lost a whole day’s worth of output, and this is replicated across the country, costing billions of pounds in lost productivity.” 

Of those surveyed, 65% believe congestion is getting more severe. Only 17% feel it’s getting better. 

 “What our research is telling us is that the solution to traffic congestion lies in a holistic approach, including road, rail, air and maritime,” said Davies.  

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