Cycle Industry News)
27 February, 2017 Mark Sutton
Doing the rounds this morning I spotted a cheery headline to begin your week with; Traffic congestion cost UK motorists more than £30 billion in 2016.
New data from INRIX, a specialist in analysing global traffic, now places the UK as the 4th most congested country in the developed world and 3rd in Europe. Londoners suffer almost twice as much as anywhere else in the UK, with traffic estimated to cost £1,911 per citizen in 2016 and more than £6 billion across the capital as a whole.
Drivers on average spend 32 hours a year during peak hours congestion, costing £968 each. On the most congested road, the A406 Northbound from Chiswick Roundabout to Hanger Lane, drivers spend 73 hours (three days) a year in traffic.
With experts dubbing air pollution “undoubtedly worse than reported” and Governments losing court battles over safe legal limits, reducing motor vehicle use in cities has become a significant headache for most city authorities. Europe-wide, congestion costs 1% of the entire GDP.
Of the 628 European cities analysed by INRIX, Moscow topped the list as the most congested in Europe, where drivers spent 91 hours last year in traffic congestion at peak hours. Drivers in Moscow spent over 25% of their total drive time (peak and non-peak hours) in congestion. London (73 hours) is second in the list of Europe’s most congested cities, followed by Paris (65 hours), Istanbul, (59 hours) with Krasnodar (56 hours) in Russia rounding out the top five. Manchester, the UK’s second most congested city ranked 18th.
“Despite Brexit, 2016 saw the UK economy remaining stable, fuel prices staying low and employment growing to an 11-year high, all of which incentivizes road travel and helped increase congestion as the 2016 Traffic Scorecard demonstrates,” said Graham Cookson, Chief Economist, INRIX. “The cost of this congestion is staggering, stripping the economy of billions, impacting businesses and costing consumers dearly. To tackle this problem, we must consider bold options such as remote working, wider use of road user charging and investment in big data to create more effective and intelligent transportation systems.”