London is now Europe's second most congested city.

Traffic jams cost Britain almost £38 billion in 2017, with the average motorist spending 31 hours a year stuck in rush-hour congestion.

The latest research from US-based data firm Inrix has found that this congestion cost motorists and the economy a total of £37.7 billion in direct and indirect costs last year, which includes the value of fuel and time wasted, as well as freighting and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic that have meant increased prices for consumers.

The figures show that the UK is now the third most congested country in Europe, with only Russia and Turkey proving to be more gridlocked.

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London was declared to be the most congested city in the country and the second most congested in Europe, after Moscow. Motorists in the British capital spent an average of 74 peak-time hours sitting in traffic, at a total cost of £9.5 billion – or £2,430 per driver.

Manchester, Birmingham, Luton and Edinburgh rounded out the country’s five most gridlocked cities, although none of them came close to London’s level of congestion. Mancunian motorists spent an average of 39 hours a year in rush hour traffic at a cost of just over £1,400 per driver, while those in Birmingham were held up for an average of 36 hours.

‘Combined with the rising price of motoring, the cost of congestion is astonishing – it takes billions out of the economy and impacts businesses and individuals alike,’ said Dr Graham Cookson, Inrix’s chief economist. ‘With the Office of National Statistics’ figures showing more cars on the road than ever before, we need to consider innovative new approaches to solving the issue. Increased flexible working or road charges have potential.’