- INRIX Roadway Analytics, a new traffic analysis tool, identifies and ranks the impact of more than 45,000 traffic hotspots1 in 123 cities2 in 19 countries across Europe
- In the UK, the worst traffic hotspots in 21 cities were identified and the cost to drivers of time wasted in congestion could amount to £61.8 billion over the next ten years3
- London had more traffic hotspots than any other city analysed, and time wasted in gridlock at these locations could cost drivers in the capital £42 billion by 2025
- The UK’s worst traffic hotspot was on the M25 between junctions 15 (M4) and 16 (M40). Outside of the capital the worst traffic hotspot was on the A720 Edinburgh Bypass
- The research shows that traffic signal optimisation and smart motorways are proving successful at reducing traffic congestion in London and on the M25
London – November 30, 2016 – INRIX today published research on Europe’s worst traffic hotspots. Using INRIX Roadway Analytics, a new traffic analysis tool and the first of its kind to be available in Europe, INRIX analysed more than 200,000 traffic jams to identify and rank 45,662 traffic hotspots in 123 major cities in 19 European countries. INRIX also calculated the cost of congestion across all traffic hotspots to identify the price drivers in Europe are estimated to pay over the next ten years due to time wasted sitting in gridlock.
In the UK, INRIX Roadway Analytics identified and ranked 20,375 traffic hotspots in 21 cities. The ranking was determined by an ‘Impact Factor’4, which multiplied the average duration of a traffic jam with its average length and the number of times it occurred in September 20165. The cost to drivers due to time wasted in traffic at these hotspots, calculated using the DfT’s ‘value of time’, amounts to £61.8 billion in the UK by 2025 if congestion levels are not reduced.
London had more traffic hotspots (12,776) and also the highest Impact Factor compared to all cities analysed. The impact of hotspots in the capital was 28 times more than the average city included in the study, and more than the following four cities combined in the European ranking (Rome, Paris, Hamburg, Madrid). This also means London pays the highest price with time wasted in congestion potentially costing drivers in the capital £42 billion over the next decade.
“Only by identifying traffic hotspots and analysing their root causes can we effectively combat congestion,” said Graham Cookson, Chief Economist, INRIX. “Some of the most effective traffic improvement measures have benefited from this approach, like TfL’s traffic signal optimisation work, which is reducing delays by 13 percent and could save drivers £65m a year6. The government has taken a similar approach with its Autumn Statement pledge to spend £220m on reducing gridlock at key ‘pinch points’ on the UK’s strategic road network.”
In the UK, the impact of all traffic hotspots in London, and the potential cost to drivers, is 15 times higher than that of the second ranked city, Edinburgh. Glasgow and Birmingham follow, with Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Cardiff, Bradford and Belfast rounding out the top ten.
Table 1: INRIX Roadway Analytics Impact Factor Ranking – UK Cities
|Rank||UK City (population over 250k)||No. of Traffic Hotspots||Impact Factor
|2025 Economic Cost of Congestion||Worst Traffic Hotspot|
|1||London||12,776||7,782,677||£42bn||M25 N between J15 (M4) and J16 (M40)|
|2||Edinburgh||455||512,834||£2.8bn||A720 W (Edinburgh Bypass) at Dreghorn Barracks|
|3||Glasgow||357||418,560||£2.3bn||A8 E (Glasgow & Edinburgh Road) at M8|
|4||Birmingham||872||370,303||£2.0bn||A38 N (M) junction with M6 (J6)|
|5||Manchester||768||360,021||£1.9bn||M60 N at J1 for A6 (Stockport)|
|6||Bristol||619||305,276||£1.6bn||M5 S at J20 (Clevedon)|
|7||Leeds||712||273,684||£1.5bn||M62 W (J26) junction with M606 (J1)|
|8||Cardiff||392||208,618||£1.1bn||A48 W (Eastern Avenue) at Riverside Park|
|9||Bradford||596||201,901||£1.1bn||A650 W (Bradford Road) at A6038 (Otley Rd)|
|10||Belfast||446||147,864||£797m||A12 E (York Link) at junction with M2 and M3|
|11||Sheffield||360||142,006||£766m||A61 N (London Road) at junction with A621|
|12||Nottingham||342||103,302||£557m||A52 E at Queen’s Medical Centre|
|13||Stoke-on-Trent||207||98,684||£532m||A50 W at roundabout with A500 (Stoke City Stadium)|
|14||Coventry||178||94,967||£512m||M6 N between J3 and Corley Services|
|15||Leicester||260||88,302||£476m||A46 N (Leicester Bypass) at roundabout with A607|
|16||Southampton||209||83,606||£451m||M27 W at J5 (Southampton Airport)|
|17||Hull||183||73,373||£396m||A63 E at Kingston Retail Park|
|18||Newcastle||111||71,146||£384m||A1 S at roundabout with A696 and A167|
|19||Derby||112||54,361||£293m||A52 W before roundabout Pentagon Island|
|20||Liverpool||236||41,087||£222m||M62 /A5080 W (J4) at A5058 Broad Green|
|21||Wolverhampton||184||33,844||£182m||A4039 W at junction with A449|
The UK’s top ten traffic hotspots all featured on roads in and around London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The research notes that congestion at the worst hotspots on the western portion of the M25 will likely be improved by the planned Smart Motorway All Lane Running programme that will be implemented within the next 5 years and covers 19 miles between Junctions 10-17.
INRIX Roadway Analytics evaluated the Smart Motorway All Lane Running implementation at Junctions 5-7 on the M25, and found a 52 percent reduction in traffic jams by comparing a year of data before roadworks began with a year of data after the new smart motorway was complete. There were 165 traffic jams a month on average after completion compared to 343 beforehand.
Table 2: INRIX Roadway Analytics Top 10 Traffic Hotspots in the UK
|Rank||UK City (population over 250k)||Worst Traffic Hotspot||Ave. Duration (min)||Ave. Length (miles)||Total no. of Occurrences||2025 Economic Cost of Congestion|
|1||London||M25 N between J15 (M4) and J16 (M40)||20||5.88||690||£705m|
|2||London||M25 N between J16 (M40) and J17 (Rickmansworth)||30||4.83||456||£575m|
|3||London||M25 S between J21 (M1) and J21A (A405)||273||13.78||13||£425m|
|4||Edinburgh||A720 W (Edinburgh Bypass) at Dreghorn Barracks||86||5.40||101||£408m|
|5||Edinburgh||A720 E (Edinburgh Bypass) between A702 and A701||80||2.23||216||£334m|
|6||Glasgow||A8 E (Glasgow & Edinburgh Road) at junction with M8||96||4.95||76||£314m|
|7||London||A406 E (North Circular) at Powys Lane (B106)||197||1.62||92||£255m|
|8||London||A406 W (North Circular) at Station Road (A109)||84||2.59||129||£244m|
|9||Edinburgh||A720 W (Edinburgh Bypass) between A702 and A701||76||4.77||76||£239m|
|10||Edinburgh||A720 W (Edinburgh Bypass) at Dreghorn Junction||51||4.54||114||£229m|
How the UK Compares with Europe
In Europe, the impact of traffic hotspots in London is almost five times that of Rome, the second ranked city. This is due in part to London having a population almost four times the size of Rome and a population density almost three times the size. However, all cities in the top ten have a proportionally high Impact Factor, and the potential cost to drivers by 2025 range from £3.3 billion in Milan, to £5.5 billion in Madrid, to £8 billion in Paris and £8.4 billion in Rome.
Table 3: INRIX Roadway Analytics Impact Factor Ranking – Europe Cities
|Rank||European City (population over 250k)||Country||Number of Traffic Hotspots||Impact Factor
|2025 Economic Cost of Congestion|
Although London is at the top of the European city ranking, the capital’s worst hotspot is third in the list of the top ten worst in Europe. The A7 in Hamburg has Europe’s worst traffic hotspot, followed by the A8 in Stuttgart – 40 percent of the top ten traffic hotspots are in Germany. Roads in Cologne, Antwerp, Luxembourg City, Paris and Karlsruhe also feature in the top ten.
Table 4: INRIX Roadway Analytics Top 10 Traffic Hotspots in Europe
|Rank||European City (population over 250k)||Country||Worst Traffic Hotspot||2025 Economic Cost of Congestion|
|1||Hamburg||Germany||A7 N at J29 HH-Othmarschen||£1.1bn|
|2||Stuttgart||Germany||A8 W at J48 (B295) Leonberg-West||£1.1bn|
|3||Antwerp||Belgium||R1 / E19 E and E34 E at J3 (Borgerhout)||£985m|
|4||London||UK||M25 N between J15 (M4) and J16 (M40)||£705m|
|5||London||UK||M25 N between J16 (M40) and J17 (Rickmansworth)||£575m|
|6||Cologne||Germany||A3 N at J25 (Koln-Mulheim)||£549m|
|7||Antwerp||Belgium||R1 (E34) E after J3 (Borgerhout)||£545m|
|8||Luxembourg||Luxembourg||A6 W before J4 (Strassen)||£545m|
|9||Paris||France||A1 S N at junction with Boulevard Périphérique||£538m|
|10||Karlsruhe||Germany||A5 S at J43 (Karlsruhe Nord)||£508m|
The table below provides the number of cities in each country with a population of 250,0002 or more that were analysed as part of the study. The cost to drivers in Europe of time wasted in congestion across all 45,662 traffic hotspots identified could amount to £183.2 billion by 2025.
Table 5: INRIX Roadway Analytics – Total Countries and Cities Analysed
|Country||No. of Cities (population over 250k)||No. of Traffic Hotspots||Impact Factor
|2025 Economic Cost of Congestion|
|Total (19)||123||45,662||33,975,160||£183.2 billion|
To access the full research report, please visit: www2.inrix.com/traffic-hotspots-research-2016
INRIX Roadway Analytics
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Notes to Editors
How is this study different from the annual INRIX Traffic Scorecard?
The annual INRIX Traffic Scorecard measures the total impact of congestion in terms of annual hours wasted for the typical car commuter in cities across Europe. It uses a different methodology and focuses specifically on peak (rush) hours and the busiest roads. It also adopts the statistical definition of a Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) commuter area.
INRIX Roadway Analytics has allowed INRIX to identify and cost individual ‘traffic hotspots’ that cause congestion to all drivers. This study does not focus on commuting roads or commuting times or LUZs. It looks at all roads within a ‘city’ for every hour of the study period and identifies the hotspots that are causing the worst congestion. INRIX also calculated the economic impact of time wasted in congestion at these traffic hotspots.
1 A key feature of INRIX Roadway Analytics is the Traffic Hotspot (Bottleneck) tool. Traffic Hotspots are locations where congestion or traffic jams occur, defined as observed speeds dropping below 65% of reference (uncongested) speed for at least 2 minutes.
2 Of the 19 countries featured in the study, all cities with more than an estimated 250,000 inhabitants in 2016 were included in the analysis. The study calls these ‘cities’ as there is no universally agreed definition of ‘city’.
3 The annual amount of time wasted at each traffic hotspot is estimated by assuming: the average traffic hotspot had 1.5 lanes of traffic; that 100 vehicles take up 1 kilometre of road space; and that each vehicle had an average of 1.2 occupants. Multiplying these numbers by the hotspot’s Impact Factor produces an estimate of the amount of time wasted at each hotspot in September 2016. An annual cost of this time can be made by multiplying the time wasted by 12 months and then monetised (i.e. converted into economic values) by multiplying it by the ‘value of time’ used by the UK Department of Transport. These costs are assumed to accrue for 10 years but future costs are discounted by the social discount rate of 3.5% per annum, because flows that we pay or receive in the future are worth less to us in today’s money.
4 The Traffic Hotspot tool in INRIX Roadway Analytics calculates the average length of all traffic jams at a hotspot, the average duration that they lasted and the number of jams that occurred at the hotspot during the study period. Multiplying these three statistics together produces the ‘Impact Factor’ – a measure of the scale or impact of each hotspot. This Impact Factor is used to rank traffic hotspots.
5 September 2016 was the latest full month of data available when the research was carried out by INRIX in October 2016. September is an average month as schools are in session and people are back at work across Europe.
6 In 2009, a microsimulation of the SCOOT (Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique) traffic light optimisation platform predicted an average delay reduction of 13% and an overall user benefit of £108,000 per junction per annum (in 2016 prices). It is being rolled out across 600 junctions with a predicted user benefit of £64.8 million.
The Impact Factors produced by the INRIX Roadway Analytics tool were converted into estimates of hours wasted before estimating the economic cost using standard UK Department for Transport values of time. These were projected out 10 years and then discounted to generate the net present value of these savings. The results were tested by a sensitivity analysis. Further details on these steps are included in Notes to Editors, and the complete methodology, assumptions and sensitivity analysis are included in the full report.
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