Research and reports
A comprehensive new study has revealed the worst cities in the UK for traffic. Which areas (and times of day) should drivers avoid?
Solving the UK’s congestion problem is high on the government’s agenda. Data technology firm Inrix says congestion cost the UK nearly £8 billion in 2018 – £1,317 per driver.
Now, location services company TomTom has compiled data on 416 cities in 57 countries to rank the most congested areas in the world.
We sifted through the research to find out the worst cities in the UK for traffic. TomTom also reveals the times you should avoid driving for a smoother journey.
TomTom’s congestion level refers to how much longer a journey takes compared to normal conditions. For example, Edinburgh’s 41 per cent congestion level means a 30-minute journey will take 41 per cent longer than usual.
TomTom says you can turn this into travel time using simple calculations:
0.41 x 30 mins = 12.3 mins extra average travel time
30 mins + 12.3 mins = 42.3 mins total average travel time
According to the research, these were the 10 worst areas for traffic in 2019:
Brighton and Hove
The remaining worst 25 areas for UK traffic are:
TomTom also revealed the worst times for traffic. So, when should you avoid driving in the five worst cities – and how much time could you save based on a 30-minute journey?
In February 2020, the Department for Transport announced a £1.5 million investment in technology to tackle congestion in three major areas – Bournemouth, York and Oxfordshire. It said this “could cut road rage felt by frustrated drivers and promote the decarbonisation of our transport network.”
Boris Johnson has also hinted at further spending to improve the UK’s roads and infrastructure in general, promising “improvements from Cornwall, to the A1 north of Newcastle, from south Salisbury to south Ribble, from Cheadle to Chiverton, dual carriageways, roundabouts, bypasses, underpasses”. Will there be more details in Rishi Sunak’s first Budget announcement on 11 March?
The last thing you want to do as a busy tradesperson is sit in traffic. To beat congestion, TomTom says that you should:
Do these worst 10 areas for traffic match up to your own experiences as a driver? Let us know in the comments below.
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Sam has more than 10 years of experience in writing for financial services. He specialises in illuminating complicated topics, from IR35 to ISAs, and identifying emerging trends that audiences want to know about. Sam spent five years at Simply Business, where he was Senior Copywriter.
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