For every ten minutes of journey time spent on the strategic road network last year, drivers needed to leave an extra six minutes to be confident of not being late, government statistics have revealed.
Fresh data for 2014 revealed that for an ‘average’ journey between junctions on the motorway that would take 10 minutes under free flow conditions, you would have to allow 16 minutes to stand a 95% chance of arriving on time.
‘Alternatively, someone leaving 16 minutes to make the same journey 20 times a month would have been on time on 19 out of 20 of those journey,’ the report states.
The average speed of cars on the network was estimated to be 59.7mph. In March, April and June, this increased to 60.6mph and fell to a low of 58.2mph in November. The average delay was estimated to be 7.8 seconds per vehicle per mile.
However the figures are based on average speeds across the entire network and as such should not be used to judge speeds on individual sections, which could differ greatly.
Highways England has been given key perfomance targets to create a more free flowing strategic road network, and could suffer financial penalties if it fails to meet the target.
The government-owned company must ensure that lane availability does not fall below 97% in any one rolling year up to 2020, and clear at least 85% of all motorway incidents within one hour.