Many drivers spend up to five days a year stuck in traffic

Drivers in the UK’s 25 most congested cities are wasting the equilatent of five days a year stuck in traffic, according to a new study.

An investigation into journey times for the TomTom Traffic Index found that congestion added an average of 127 hours to drivers’ journey times in 2015.

And the problem is only getting worse.

The study found congestion across the UK has grown by 14% over the past five years.

In the rest of Europe it’s eased by 3% in the same period.
Traffic on the M20
Video: July 2015: M20 Traffic Chaos

Ralf-Peter Schaefer of TomTom Traffic said: “More must be done to better manage existing road space and to spread demand.

“People simply aren’t doing enough to change their travel habits – such as working flexible hours, avoiding peak commuting times, making use of real-time traffic information and trying alternative travel modes.

“If only 5% of us changed our travel plans we could improve traffic congestion on our main roads by up to 30%.”

According to the study, Belfast is the worst city in the UK for hold-ups and the 14th worst in the world.

Average journey times there are 40% slower than if traffic was flowing freely, jumping to 86% during the peak evening period.

That equals an additional 195 hours a year stuck behind the wheel.

London is the second worst in the UK, with traffic making trips an average of 38% slower, rising to 66% in the after-work rush.

While we may think we have it bad, congestion in the UK is nothing compared to Bangkok in Thailand where traffic causes journey times to increase by 57%.

In Istanbul, Turkey, that figure is 50% and in Rio de Janeiro, which is hosting the Olympic Games in August, it’s 47%.

Responding to the study, a Department for Transport spokeswoman said the Government is investing record amounts to tackle the problem.

:: Here is the average increase in journey times in the UK’s 25 most congested cities in 2015, according to the study.

  1. Belfast (40%)

  2. London (38%)

  3. Manchester (37%)

  4. Edinburgh (37%)

  5. Brighton (34%)

  6. Hull (33%)

  7. Bournemouth (32%)

  8. Newcastle (31%)

  9. Bristol (31%)

  10. Sheffield (30%)

  11. Leicester (29%)

  12. Liverpool (29%)

  13. Swansea (28%)

  14. Birmingham (27%)

  15. Leeds-Bradford (27%)

  16. Nottingham (27%)

  17. Glasgow (26%)

  18. Cardiff (26%)

  19. Coventry (25%)

  20. Southampton (24%)

  21. Reading (24%)

  22. Portsmouth (23%)

  23. Middlesbrough (21%)

  24. Stoke-on-Trent (20%)

  25. Preston (19%)

Sky News

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