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INRIX 2023 Global Traffic Scorecard: London most congested city in Europe; congestion costing the UK £7.5 billion.

  • Top 5 most congested cities in the world: New York City, Mexico City, London, Paris and Chicago.
  • The average driver in the UK lost 61 hours due to traffic congestion, a 4-hour increase compared to 2022.
  • The average London driver spent £902 due to lost time congestion in 2023, UK drivers on average lost £558 in time.
  • All urban areas in the UK top 10 saw increases in traffic congestion and delays over 2022.
  • In the UK overall, the cost to the country was £7.5 billion, £718 million increase over the prior year.

LONDON – June 25, 2024 – INRIX, Inc., a global leader in transportation data and analytics, today published the 2023 Global Traffic Scorecard that identified and ranked congestion in nearly 950 cities, across 37 countries based on their Impact Ranking which captures the aggregate influence of congestion relative to population.

London topped the Traffic Scorecard in Europe – and placed third globally – with drivers losing 99 hours sitting in congestion, three percent above pre-pandemic delays and two percent more than 2022. The total cost to London was £3.8 billion, averaging £902 per driver. For the UK as whole, the country lost £7.5 billion, £718 million more than in 2022. The average UK driver lost 61 hours due to traffic congestion last year – a 7% increase on 2022’s 57 hours lost with the capital accounting for approximately 50% of all UK traffic delay.

Bob Pishue, transportation analyst and author of the report: “We are seeing travel return to pre-Covid levels. The UK and Europe have seen smaller increases in congestion this year than in other parts of the world which indicates that these countries have found their new travel norms. While London remains most impacted by congestion in the UK, its drop to third suggests that other large global cities have returned to pre-COVID levels of activity. As an indication of strong economic activity, increased congestion can be a positive sign for cities.”

Drivers in London (99 hours), Birmingham (60 hours), and Bristol (62 hours) experienced the highest impact from traffic in the UK. The urban areas of Sheffield and Rochester fell off the UK top 10 from 2022, now at 11th and 14th, respectively, while Manchester and Hertford-Harlow both moved up three spots to 8th and 9th.

Table 1: 10 Most Congested Urban Areas in the U.K.

2023 UK Rank (2022 Rank) Urban Area 2023 Delay (2022) Compared to Pre-COVID 2023 Cost per Driver 2023 Cost per City City Center Speed (mph) Q1 2024 Change
1 (1) London 99 (97) 3% £902 £3.8 B 10 -10%
2 (2) Birmingham 60 (55) 3% £547 £293 M 16 -5%
3 (4) Bristol 62 (53) -7% £565 £123 M 14 -2%
4 (3) Leeds 59 (52) -2% £538 £199 M 16 -5%
5 (5) Wigan 61 (52) 5% £556 £85 M 14 0%
6 (9) Bath 67 (56) -9% £611 £26 M 12 -4%
7 (8) Chelmsford 60 (53) 8% £547 £45 M 19 -1%
8 (11) Manchester 54 (47) 0% £492 £126 M 14 -2%
9 (12) Hertford-Harlow 61 (54) -13% £556 £312 M #N/A -7%
10 (6) Burton upon Trent 62 (59) 2% £565 £19 M 17 -4%


Due to the concentration of population, employment and economic activity, London holds most of the top corridors for traffic delays in the UK.  A driver who took London’s most congested corridor – Westbound A40 between the North Circular and Church Road – every day at the 3:00 PM peak hour they would have lost 63 hours sitting in traffic.

The busiest corridor in Birmingham, the second most-congested urban area in the UK, was the A34 Southbound from Camp Hill Circus to A4040. At 3:PM on the weekday drivers lose about eight minutes a day, or 34 hours annually.

Road Name From To Peak Hour 2023 Peak Minutes Lost 2023 Hours Lost
A40 W N Circular Rd Church Rd 3:00 PM 16 63
A4 W Warwick Rd Wellesley Rd 4:00 PM 14 57
M4 E Heathrow Interchange Clayponds Ln 7:00 AM 14 57
A34 S Camp Hill Circus A4040 3:00 PM 8 34
A435 S Haden Circus Taylor Rd 3:00 PM 8 33
A441 S Belgrave Interchange Watford Rd 3:00 PM 8 32
 Muller Rd E A38 Whitehall Rd 3:00 PM 8 31
A420 E Lawrence Hill Rndbt Kingswood Park 2:00 PM 6 25
A4174 E A38 A37 3:00 PM 5 19


How the UK cities compare to top cities worldwide
Like the US and Germany, the UK saw traffic congestion grow in 2023 and reach pre-COVID levels. London’s two percent increase is lower than cities in the global top 25 suggesting that the city rebounded from the effects of COVID sooner and other cities are catching up. The capital is also the only UK city in the global top 25 cities.

Despite all seeing growth in congestion Birmingham, Leeds and Wigan fell in the impact rankings as congestion in other cities grew faster.

Table 3: 10 Most Congested Cities in the World in 2023

2023 Impact Rank (2022 Rank) Urban Area Country 2023 Delay per Driver (hours) Change from 2022 Change from Pre-COVID Downtown Speed (mph) Q1 2024 Change
1 (1) New York City NY USA 101 -4% 11% 11 -11%
2 (4) Mexico City MEX 96 13% -11% 12 -5%
3 (2) London UK 99 2% 3% 10 -10%
4 (3) Paris FRA 97 4% 1% 10 -3%
5 (5) Chicago IL USA 96 10% 18% 11 -8%
6 (6) Istanbul TUR 91 12% 20% 13 5%
7 (7) Los Angeles CA USA 89 13% -4% 19 -5%
8 (8) Boston MA USA 88 14% -1% 10 -10%
9 (9) Houston TX USA 83 12% 1% 17 -1%
10 (13) Cape Town ZAF 83 32% -10% 12 7%


Access to reliable data is the first step in tackling congestion. Applying big data to create intelligent transportation systems is key to solving urban mobility problems. INRIX data and analytics on mobility, traffic and traffic signals, parking and population movement help city planners and engineers make data-based decisions to prioritise spending to maximise benefits and reduce costs now and into the future.

The key findings of the INRIX 2023 Global Traffic Scorecard provide a quantifiable benchmark for governments and cities across the world to measure progress to improve urban mobility and track the impact of spending on smart city initiatives.

Please visit for:

  • Full 2023 Global Traffic Scorecard report, including rankings for the U.K., US., and Germany.
  • Interactive webpage with data and information for nearly 950 cities and 37 countries.
  • Complete methodology.


Notes to Editors:

Data Sources
INRIX aggregates anonymous data from diverse datasets – such as phones, cars, trucks, and cities – that leads to robust and accurate insights. The data used in the 2023 Global Traffic Scorecard is the congested or uncongested status of every segment of road for every minute of the day, as used by millions of drivers around the world that rely on INRIX-based traffic services.

Data used to complete the 2023 Global Traffic Scorecard and Q1 Update spans more than 15 months. The Scorecard incorporated three years of historical data to provide a complete year-over-year comparison of congestion and mobility. A multi-year approach enables the identification of trends in the world’s largest urban areas and provides a basis for comparison.

Research Methodology
The 2023 Global Traffic Scorecard provides the most up-to-date methodology to better understand movement in urban areas across the world. The 2023 Scorecard continues to include travel delay comparisons, collision trends and last-mile speeds based on the unique commuting patterns within each metro area, yet the latest origin-and-destination patterns accommodate the latest commuting behavior shifts.

Commute times were calculated by looking exclusively at the time it takes to get to and from major employment centres within an urban area from surrounding commuting neighbourhoods. Our newest methodology, updated for this Scorecard, more accurately estimates commute distance using actual, observed trips. In general, this has placed downward pressure on commuting delays versus prior Scorecards, as observed trips tended to be shorter than previously estimated.

These changes were run for the years 2019, 2022 and 2023, along with the Q1 Update provided in this document. Q1 update is a special update for this version of the Global Traffic Scorecard and measures the change in average peak period travel times between January-March 2024 and January-March 2023.

Economic costs are calculated based on the following hourly values of time, which were based on U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s Revised Departmental Guidance on Valuation of Travel Time for Economic Analysis, 2016, adjusted for inflation: $17.45 per hour in the U.S., £9.12 per hour in the U.K. and 10.67 € per hour in Germany. Individual urban areas may have higher, or lower, values of time depending on local economic conditions.

The 2023 Scorecard values time loss by analyzing peak speed and free-flow speed data for the busiest commuting corridors and sub areas as identified by origin and destination patterns unique to that area. Employing free-flow data enables a direct comparison between peak periods and serves as the basis for calculating time loss. Total time lost is the difference in travel times experienced during the peak periods compared to free-flow conditions on a per driver basis. In other words, it is the difference between driving during commute hours versus driving at night with little traffic.

Key Definitions

  • Impact Rank: The primary INRIX rank, based on the severity of congestion (hours lost) weighted by city size.
  • Urban Area: The geographic scope of a city as defined by its road network density, more akin to a metropolitan area.
  • Hours Lost: The total number of hours lost in congestion during peak commute periods compared to off-peak conditions.
  • Pre-COVID Period: Interchangeable with 2019, though in some contexts it differs from a 2019 average to a comparable day in 2019, depending on data source.
  • Downtown Speed: The speed at which a driver can expect to travel one mile into the central business district during AM peak hours.
  • Peak: The absolute worst portion of the morning and afternoon commute.
  • Q1 2024 Change: The change in travel times comparing Q1 2023 and Q1 2024 for each metro. Special to this Scorecard

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