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Motorists lose 115 hours stuck in traffic in 2019

Motorists lose 115 hours stuck in traffic in 2019

DRIVERS wasted an average of 115 hours behind the wheel last year because of traffic congestion, according to new research.

Traffic analyst Inrix found that London was the worst UK city for jams in 2019, with the typical motorist in the capital losing 149 hours during peak periods over the year – a figure that puts it eighth in the world for traffic delays.

Meanwhile, Belfast was ranked second worst for traffic in the UK, with motorists losing an average of 112 hours per driver. Bristol, at 103 hours, Edinburgh, at 98, and Manchester, 92 hours, all followed.

The research also found the A404/A501 from Edgware Road to Old Street in London is the UK’s most congested route, with commuters losing a staggering 44 hours on average in 2019. The problem isn’t just a London one, however, as drivers on the A38 in Birmingham were delayed by 32 hours.

Inrix claims the hours lost behind the wheel cost the United Kingdom £6.9bn and left the typical driver £894 out of pocket last year.

Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at the company, told the PA news agency that London suffers from having “very little road space and a whole lot of demand”.

“You have very severe congestion and a massive, relatively high earning population,” said Reed. “UK cities are quite a bit older and a lot denser than American cities. London is over 2,000 years old.

“When you develop around walking, and horse and buggy, and everything but cars, the urban environment does not handle (cars) all that well.”

He added: “You can reach a tipping point with a city. You add just enough cars to make nothing work.

“Sometimes you add one or two per cent more cars, and it causes a vicious cycle of congestion.”

The research also found Cardiff saw the biggest year-on-year growth in congestion (up five per cent to 87 hours), while congestion in Nottingham had the largest drop – 17 per cent to 78 hours.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “This Government is determined to improve journeys for all motorists, which is why we’re investing nearly £29bn to reduce congestion on our roads up to 2025.

“Looking to the future, our £2.5bn Transforming Cities Fund will help develop innovative public transport projects, while the tripling of our investment per head in cycling and walking since 2010 is encouraging people to try other ways of getting around – helping create less congested towns and cities.”

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