In research by traffic information supplier Inrix, it has been revealed that UK motorists send 31 hours in traffic per year on average. This duration in gridlock comes at a cost of £1,168 for drivers, once the amount of wasted fuel and time is calculated — not to mention higher freighting fees.
RAC’s spokesperson Rod Dennis pointed out: “There is no silver bullet to sorting out congestion. Ring-fenced funding for improving England’s major roads from 2021 should help, but there also needs to be an emphasis placed on providing cheap, practical, reliable alternatives to the car — especially in urban areas.
“In the meantime, urban planners should be looking at how we can maximise vehicle flow — looking at traffic light sequencings, reducing the amount of time roadworks are live on roads and seeing what impact reducing road space for vehicles is having on journey times.”
Could an alternative solution be for motorists to become more aware about where and when is the worst for traffic jams throughout the UK? Vindis, which provides Audi servicing, explores this idea in further detail…
Drive around London and there’s a very good chance that you’ll be involved in at least one traffic jam — this is quite an obvious fact. According to the earlier mentioned data gathered by Inrix, the UK’s capital is the second most congested city across the whole of Europe, and drivers can face 73 hours each year in traffic.
Waiting times which chalk up into double figures throughout the UK aren’t just seen in London though. Manchester, Lincoln, Birmingham, Braintree, Aylesbury, Bath, Luton, and Guildford are all English destinations with waiting times between 25 and 40 hours. Motorists in Scotland won’t always have clear roads either, with those in Aberdeen and Edinburgh expected to lose 28 hours a year due to traffic jams at peak times, while in Wales the most congested city — with 24 hours per year of waiting times — is Newport.
It’s obviously not just roads in and around city centres which traffic jams can often occur though. Some of the worst instances of congestion can be found on motorways and majorrouteson outskirts as drivers complete their commute. Therefore, here’s the UK’s top 10 most congested roads, again gathered by Inrix:
Getting behind the wheel and heading out onto the road during the rush hour should be avoided unless the journey is essential. Highlighting this point is car insurance experts Admiral, which compared the travel time of routes into various major city centres for a 9am arrival on a Monday morning when compared to 9am on a Sunday morning.
Cambridge took top spot in this study. In that city, 72 extra minutes can be added to a rush hour journey compared to the same route from A to B being completed at the quietest time of the week. This was followed by Leeds (51 extra minutes) and Manchester (47 additional minutes). The full top 10 is as follows:
Of course, major roads away from city centres are also prone to becoming very congested in the rush hour. Again, Admiral is on hand as they conducted research to find the UK’s most congested routes.
Taking top place in their study this time was the route from Dartford to Trafalgar Square around London. Motorists can expect a staggering 225 per cent increase in driving time during the morning rush hour along this stretch of road. Romford to Trafalgar Square, again in London, didn’t fare much better, with driving time witnessing a 214 per cent increase throughout the morning rush hour.
How about when London isn’t included in the data? The UK’s most congested routes becomeChepstow to Cabot Circus in Bristol (a 200 per cent increase in driving time during the morning rush hour), Halton to St George’s Hall in Liverpool (a 192 per cent jump in driving time throughout the morning rush hour), and Washington to the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle (a 192 per cent hike in driving time in the morning rush hour).
Admiral’s Motor Product Manager Jo Cox commented: “The figures do bring home the potential time that could be saved if you travel outside of peak times. If at all possible, consider starting your journey and working day earlier or later. It could mean your time is spent a lot more productively.”
There will be certain times of the year when the nation’s roads become very congested too. Around the 2017 festive break, for instance, following a survey of its drivers the RAC predicted that 1.25 million leisure trips would have been completed on Friday December 22nd 2017, 1.59 million on Saturday December 23rd, 1.87 million on Christmas Eve and a huge 5.3 million on Boxing Day.
The RAC also sent a warning out to motorists that they could expect delays if they drove during the initial two weeks of the 2017 school holidays. After an analysis of the travel plans of 3,176 motorists, the organisation predicted that they would have been 37 million leisure trips completed in the initial two weeks of the school holidays. This included 2.5 million journeys being made on the Friday that schools closed for the summer, 3.4 million on the Saturday and 2.8 million on the Sunday.