Latest research highlights £30 billion cost to economy from UK’s gridlocked roads
If you’ve been stuck in a traffic jam lately you’ve probably already figured it out, but for those lucky few who have not, the UK has been ranked the fourth most congested country in the developed world.
Traffic experts Inrix’s latest report card also ranked the UK the third most congested European country and, reports Fleet News, for the first time decided to include both the direct and indirect costs of gridlock to each motorist. The sums are eye-watering, with the direct cost calculated at £30.8 billion - an average of £968 per road user.
Direct costs relate to the value of fuel and time wasted, and indirect costs relate to freighting and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic, which are passed on to household bills through higher prices.
For the 2016 report 87 cities and large urban areas were surveyed. To no one’s surprise London remained the UK’s most congested city, placing it second behind Moscow in Europe and seventh globally.
Long suffering London drivers spent an average of 73 hours stuck going nowhere during peak hours, costing the capital £6.2 billion and drivers a considerable £1,911 in lost time and productivity.
Manchester, Aberdeen, Birmingham and Edinburgh completed the UK’s five most congested cities. Manchester’s drivers spent 39 hours in going nowhere fast during peak hours, and 10 percent of their total drive time (peak and non-peak hours) in gridlock, costing each driver £1,136 and the city £233 million. Motorists in Birmingham spent nine percent of their total drive time in congestion last year, costing the city £407 million.
Commenting in the research, Graham Cookson, chief economist at Inrix, said: “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.
“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.”
Source: Fleet News