Economy

Congestion costs United Kingdom almost £40bn a year, report finds

Congestion costs United Kingdom almost £40bn a year, report finds”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, London is the most congested city, with drivers there spending an average of 74 hours - more than three days - in gridlock during peak hours, up an hour over 2016.

According to the INRIX 2017 Global Traffic Scorecard, the direct and indirect costs of congestion to all United Kingdom motorists cost drivers an average of £1,168 each.

Research conducted by traffic information supplier Inrix also named the A406 northbound from the Chiswick roundabout to Hanger Lane as the UK's most congested road, where each driver spent 56 hours in congestion a year ago.

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 previous 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.

During the evening rush hour, traffic moves at 3.7mph in central London.

Dr Graham Cookson, chief economist at Inrix, said the cost of congestion was "astonishing", taking billions out of the economy and impacting businesses and drivers. "That's many times more than what it costs me to insure my auto and the cost of the fuel I put in it". "Increased flexible working or road charges have potential, however, transport authorities should be looking to exciting developments in data analytics and AI which promise to reinvent our approach to traffic management".

Seven UK locations suffered double-digit rises in the number of hours lost to queues, including Wrexham (up 17 per cent), Mansfield (up 15 per cent) and Bath (up 12 per cent).

"There's a huge congestion problem".

"There's a big movement to reintroduce trams".

This highlights the uncomfortable truth in the United Kingdom - that with few viable transport alternatives outside major cities, having access to a auto is simply a necessity for millions of people.

This follows the completion of road projects such as improving the M8, M73 and M74 in central Scotland, while a bypass in Aberdeen is nearly finished.

"Journeys have got better because of the combination of new roads and the end of roadworks", Dr Cookson added.

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: "The coming years will see multi-billion pound Government investment in our infrastructure - including major improvements to the M4, A55, A40 and A494". 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 auto - especially in urban areas.



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