London tops Europe's most congested cities


London has become the most congested city in Europe with drivers losing 96 hours a year to gridlock, the equivalent of 12 working days.

The rise in traffic in the London commute zone was combined with an increase in congestion across 77% of UK cities, as the country became the fifth most congested across the continent.

On average UK drivers lost 30 hours a year to gridlock, based on 2014 figures, compared to Belgium in top spot on an average of 58 hours, followed by the Netherlands (45), Germany (35) and Luxembourg (32).


Across the UK, London’s lost hours on traffic-clogged roads were followed by Greater Manchester's where drivers wasted 52 hours in 2014, Merseyside (37), Greater Belfast (37) and Greater Birmingham (37).

All five of the most congested roads in the country were links to London, with a stretch of the A217 between Rosehill Roundabout and New Kings Road the worst place to get stuck in a jam, costing drivers a total of 138.6 hours.

This was followed by stretches on the A215, the A4, which had two congestion black spots and the A23.

However it was North Staffordshire and Greater Coventry that saw the biggest increases in congestion on 37% and 33% respectively, resulting in 26 and 28 hours of delays.

Traffic analysts, Inrix, found that increases in traffic broadly tracked economic growth and rising employment across Europe, with population growth also playing a factor for the UK.

President and CEO, at Inrix, Bryan Mistele, said: ‘For the third year running, traffic in the UK is up. The strong growth of the UK economy and rise in urban populations have resulted in an increase in the demand for road travel, significantly driving levels of congestion up across the country.’

The UK population grew by 491,100 last year according to Inrix’s figures, with London taking in 122,100 extra people. Drivers in the capital wasted an average of 14 hours extra in traffic jams than in 2013.

Transport for London’s chief operating officer for surface transport, Garrett Emmerson, said: ‘We are seeing unprecedented increases in population and this, combined with strong economic growth and the consequent increase in building and construction, creates more traffic. To tackle this, we need continued, sustained investment to boost capacity and modernise London’s road network.

'That’s why we invest every penny of our income in improving the capital's transport network, including an unprecedented £4bn pounds over the next few years to transform junctions, bridges, tunnels, cycling lanes and pedestrian areas.'


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