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Traffic Congestion Cost UK Motorists More Than £30 Billion in 2016

  • INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard analyses and ranks the impact of traffic congestion in 1,064 cities across 38 countries worldwide – the largest ever study of its kind
  • The UK ranked as the 4th most congested developed country in the world and the 3rd most congested in Europe with drivers spending an average of 32 hours a year in congestion during peak hours
  • 87 cities and large urban areas were analysed across the UK, and the direct and indirect costs of congestion for all drivers totalled £30.8 billion in 2016, an average of £968 per driver
  • London was the UK’s most congested city, costing drivers in the capital more than twice the national average at £1,911 each in 2016, and more than £6 billion across the city as a whole
  • The UK’s most congested road was the A406 Northbound from Chiswick Roundabout to Hanger Lane in London, where each driver spent 73 hours, or three days, in congestion last year

 

London – February 20, 2017 – INRIX today published its all-new Traffic Scorecard. Based on a new methodology, the analysis has increased to 1,064 cities across 38 countries, making this the largest ever study of congestion. The UK ranked as the 4th most congested developed country in the world and the 3rd most congested in Europe, with drivers spending an average of 32 hours a year in congestion during peak hours. For the first time, the INRIX Traffic Scorecard also includes the direct and indirect costs of congestion to all UK motorists, which amounted to £30.8 billion in 2016, an average of £968 per driver1.

In the UK, the 2016 Traffic Scorecard analysed congestion in 87 cities and large urban areas. London remains the UK’s most congested city, and ranks 2nd in Europe after Moscow and 7th in the world. Drivers in London spent an average of 73 hours in gridlock during peak hours. This contributed to congestion costing London drivers £1,911 each and the capital as a whole £6.2 billion from direct and indirect costs. Direct costs relate to the value of fuel and time wasted, and indirect costs relate to freighting and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic, which are passed on to household bills through higher prices.

Along with the capital, Manchester, Aberdeen, Birmingham and Edinburgh make up the UK’s five most congested cities. Drivers in Manchester spent 39 hours in congestion during peak hours, and 10% of their total drive time (peak and non-peak hours) in gridlock, costing each driver £1,136 and the city £233 million. Motorists in Birmingham spent 9% of their total drive time in congestion last year, costing the city £407 million. Major cities in Scotland feature high-up in the UK ranking, with Aberdeen and Edinburgh placing 3rd and 5th respectively. The combined cost to both cities in 2016 was £363 million.

“Despite Brexit, 2016 saw the UK economy remaining stable, fuel prices staying low and employment growing to an 11-year high, all of which incentivizes road travel and helped increase congestion as the 2016 Traffic Scorecard demonstrates,” said Graham Cookson, Chief Economist, INRIX. “The cost of this congestion is staggering, stripping the economy of billions, impacting businesses and costing consumers dearly. To tackle this problem, we must consider bold options such as remote working, wider use of road user charging and investment in big data to create more effective and intelligent transportation systems.”

 

Table 1: INRIX 2016 Traffic Scorecard – UK’s 10 Most Congested Cities / Large Urban Areas

 

Rank City / Large Urban Area 2016 Peak Hours Spent in Congestion Percentage of Total Drive Time in Congestion (peak and non-peak hours) Total Cost Per Driver in 2016 Total Cost to the City in 2016 (based on city population size)
1 London 73 12.7%  £1,911  £6.2bn
2 Manchester 39 9.9%  £1,136  £233m
3 Aberdeen 35 12.3%  £1,331  £138m
4 Birmingham 34 8.5%  £990  £407m
5 Edinburgh 31 9.8%  £1,009  £225m
6 Guildford 29 8.6%  £812  £44m
7 Luton 29 10.7%  £964  £72m
8 Bournemouth 27 10.8%  £1,019  £84m
9 Hull 27 9.4%  £970  £109m
10 Bristol 27 8.8%  £845  £154m

 

INRIX 2016 Traffic Scorecard Provides In-Depth City Congestion Analysis

New to the Traffic Scorecard is the ability to study congestion at different times of the day and across different parts of the road network, such as analysing traffic in city centres compared to vehicles coming in and out of a city, inside and outside of peak hours and at weekends. Insights for the UK include:

Overall (Peak & Non-Peak) Congestion Insights

  • London is the worst city for congestion in the UK across both peak and non-peak hours with drivers spending an average of 13% of their total drive time stuck in traffic.
  • Aberdeen is the second worst city across both peak and non-peak hours combined, with drivers spending 12% of their total drive time in gridlock.

City Centre Insights

  • Peak hours in the centre of London is the worst time and place for drivers in the capital, where they spent an average of 23% of their time in congestion at an average speed of 4 mph.
  • However, Exeter’s city centre was the busiest to get around across all of the UK during peak hours, with drivers spending 25% of their time in congestion with an average speed of just 4.6 mph.
  • Speeds fell by 80% (20 mph to 4.3 mph) in the centre of London during the day when congestion was at its worse, and by 83% (24 mph to 4 mph) in the evening during the worst periods.

In and Out of City Insights

  • When getting in and out of London at peak hours, drivers achieved an average congested speed of 14.6 mph and spent 15% of their time in congestion.
  • Aberdeen eclipses even London at peak hours and was the hardest city to get in to or out of with drivers stuck in gridlock for 24% of the time, moving at an average speed of 5.5 mph.

Business Impact

  • Business suffers the most from traffic in Cardiff with congestion between the morning and evening peak periods, both in and out and within the city, occurring for 15% of the time on average.
  • Businesses moving about the centres of Exeter and London also suffer badly from congestion, sitting in traffic in the ‘city centre’ 17% and 16% of the time respectively during the day.

Weekend Insights

  • Blackpool and London have the highest weekend congestion rates of 13% of drive time, but drivers cruise at their slowest in Brighton and Belfast where weekend congested speeds are just 4.3 mph.

Britain’s Most Congested Roads  

INRIX also identified the UK’s most congested roads as well as the worst time to travel. London roads were busiest at evening rush-hour with the A406 Northbound from Chiswick Roundabout to Hanger Lane identified as the UK’s most congested, where motorists spent 73 hours in congestion on this road in 2016. Outside of the capital, the A1 Southbound from College Gardens in Belfast was the most congested road, and the 6th worst congested in the UK, with drivers each spending 49 hours in gridlock last year.

 

Table 2: INRIX 2016 Traffic Scorecard – UK’s Top Ten Most Congested Roads in 2016

Rank City / Large Urban Area Road From To Worst Peak Period Total Hours of Delay
1 London A406 Northbound Chiswick Roundabout Hanger Lane PM 73
2 London A2 Eastbound New Cross Gate Prince Charles Rd PM 62
3 London A3211 Eastbound Westminster Bridge London Bridge PM 57
4 London A102 Northbound A2/Kidbrooke Blackwall Tunnel AM 51
5 London A4200 Southbound Russell Square Aldwych PM 50
6 Belfast A1 Southbound College Gardens Wallace Park PM 49
7 London A308 Eastbound Putney Bridge Approach Sloane Square PM 46
8 Bristol A431 Westbound Bryants Hill Lawrence Hill AM 45
9 Belfast A24 Northbound Ormeau Road Ann Street AM 45
10 Manchester A6 Northbound Macclesfield Road Heaton Lane AM 44

 

UK vs. Europe: How do we Measure Up?

Of the 628 European cities analysed, Moscow topped the list as the most congested in Europe, where drivers spent 91 hours last year in traffic congestion at peak hours. Drivers in Moscow spent over 25% of their total drive time (peak and non-peak hours) in congestion. London (73 hours) is second in the list of Europe’s most congested cities, followed by Paris (65 hours), Istanbul, (59 hours) with Krasnodar (56 hours) in Russia rounding out the top five. Manchester, the UK’s second most congested city ranked 18th.

 

Table 4: INRIX 2016 Traffic Scorecard – 10 Most Congested Cities in Europe in 2016

 

Rank European City Country 2016 Peak Hours Spent in Congestion Percentage of Total Drive Time in Congestion (peak and non-peak hours)
1 Moscow Russia 91 25.2%
2 London UK 73 12.7%
3 Paris France 65 11.4%
4 Istanbul Turkey 59 18.6%
5 Krasnodar Russia 56 24.3%
6 Zurich Switzerland 54 18.2%
7 Saint Petersburg Russia 53 20.0%
8 Sochi Russia 49 24.4%
9 Munich Germany 49 14.5%
10 Nizhny Novgorod Russia 47 19.7%

 

How the UK Compares to Cities & Countries Worldwide 

At the global city level, Los Angeles tops the list of the world’s most gridlocked cities, with drivers spending on average 104 peak hours in congestion in 2016, followed by Moscow (91 hours), New York (89 hours), San Francisco (83 hours) and Bogota (80 hours). London ranked 7th out of the 1,064 cities analysed, after Sao Paulo at 6th where drivers spent 77 peak hours in congestion last year.

 

Table 5: INRIX 2016 Traffic Scorecard – 10 Most Congested Cities in the World in 2016

 

Rank Global City Country Continent 2016 Peak Hours Spent in Congestion Percentage of Total Drive Time in Congestion (peak and non-peak hours)
1 Los Angeles USA North America 104 12.7%
2 Moscow Russia Europe 91 25.2%
3 New York USA North America 89 12.8%
4 San Francisco USA North America 83 12.8%
5 Bogota Colombia South America 80 31.8%
6 Sao Paulo Brazil South America 77 20.8%
7 London UK Europe 73 12.7%
8 Atlanta USA North America 71 10.0%
9 Paris France Europe 65 11.4%
10 Miami USA North America 65 8.7%

 

Of the 38 countries covered by the INRIX Traffic Scorecard, Thailand leads with the highest average hours spent in peak congestion (61 in 2016), outranking Columbia (47 hours) and Indonesia (47 hours) tying at 2nd, and Russia (42 hours) and the USA (42 hours) tying at 4th. The UK was 11th in the global ranking, 4th amongst developed nations, and the 3rd most congested in Europe behind Russia and Turkey.

 

Table 6: INRIX 2016 Traffic Scorecard – 15 Most Congested Countries in the World in 2016

 

Rank Country Continent (Europe Ranking) 2016 Peak Hours Spent in Congestion
1 Thailand Asia 61
2 Colombia South America 47
2 Indonesia Asia 47
4 Russia Europe (1) 42
4 USA North America 42
6 Venezuela South America 39
7 South Africa Africa 38
8 Brazil South America 37
8 Puerto Rico North America 37
10 Turkey Europe (2) 34
11 UK Europe (3) 32
12 Germany Europe (4) 30
12 Slovakia Europe (4) 30
14 Canada North America 28
14 Luxembourg Europe (6) 28

 

Please visit www.inrix.com/scorecard for:

  • Full 2016 Traffic Scorecard report including all rankings for the UK, Europe and globally.
  • Complete methodology.
  • Interactive webpage with data and information for all 1,064 cities and 38 countries.
  • UK and global infographics.

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Notes to Editors

Data Sources

INRIX analysed 500 Terabytes of data from 300 million different sources covering over 5 million miles of road. The data used in the 2016 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.

Research Methodology

A new methodology was adopted for the 2016 Traffic Scorecard that calculates the percentage of time that drivers spent in congestion at different periods of the day/week and on different parts of a city’s road network. This provides a more holistic view of a city’s congestion problem. Cities were ranked by the peak hours that the average driver spent in congestion, the busiest part of the day when the most people are affected. Additional metrics are available online and in the full report.

 

1An economic analysis was performed to estimate the total cost to the average driver in a city, and a total cost to the city population. This considered both the direct costs (those borne by the driver directly through wasted time and fuel) and the indirect costs (those borne indirectly through the increased costs to businesses which are passed on to households through higher prices). Worst corridors are limited to those that have the highest traffic volume and are ranked by the average hours of delay per driver in 2016.

 

Direct & Indirect Costs of Congestion for UK Drivers

Average Direct Cost Per Driver/Car     £849.06

Average Indirect Cost Per Driver/Car   £119.05

Average Total Cost                              £968.11

Number of Cars in the UK                   31,813,900

Total Cost for the UK                          £30,799,342,461

 

The full report provides full details of the economic cost methodology.

 

About INRIX

INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics, a new approach that leverages big data and the cloud to help manage urban mobility. By aggregating a variety of sources and applying intelligence, INRIX delivers comprehensive data and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small.

 

Press Contacts

INRIX Europe

Matt Simmons

+44 (0) 20 7012 3509

matt.simmons@inrix.com

 

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