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Traffic congestion in cities across the UK has worsened considerably over the past year, according to a major new report.
The fifth annual Traffic Index from TomTom shows average journeys in 2014 took 29% longer than they would in free-flowing traffic – up two per cent from 2013.
Traffic jams in 14 out of Britain’s 17 biggest cities have got worse over the past 12 months. The only city where congestion has improved is Bristol – for the second year running.
The analysis of 12 trillion pieces of traffic data worldwide revealed that in 2014, a typical UK city commuter with a 30 minute drive home spent an extra 66 hours stuck in traffic than they would have done on a free-flowing road.
Added to the 63 hours stuck in morning traffic, that’s 129 hours wasted in a year.
The Traffic Index shows that Belfast is the most congested city in the UK, with journey times 39% slower than free-flow traffic throughout the day – peaking at 82% longer in both the morning and evening rush hours.
|EVENING PEAK||DELAY PER YEAR EVENING PEAK|
|1||Belfast||39% (36%)||82%||94 hours|
|2||London||37% (34%)||67%||77 hours|
|3||Edinburgh||36% (34%)||71%||82 hours|
|4||Brighton/Hove||34% (31%)||59%||68 hours|
|5||Manchester||32% (26%)||72%||83 hours|
|6||Bristol||29% (32%)||56%||64 hours|
|7||Nottingham||29% (25%)||57%||66 hours|
|8||Liverpool||28% (25%)||49%||56 hours|
|9||Newcastle||27% (23%)||51%||59 hours|
|10||Leicester||26% (25%)||52%||60 hours|
“Road authorities and local governments can use traffic data to better manage traffic flow and businesses can plan smarter working hours, so their employees avoid travelling during rush hour,” says Ralf-Peter Schaefer, Vice-President, TomTom Traffic.
“We can also give drivers the real-time traffic information and smart routing they need to avoid clogged roads and get there faster. Our mission is to help reduce traffic congestion for everyone.”
The report’s findings come in the light of an ambitious £15 billion transport plan to triple levels of spending by 2020, increasing capacity and condition of the UK’s roads – announced by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin in December 2014.