UK climbs list of Europe’s congested countries - Call Wiser
Call Wiser Owl Logo

0333 003 3270 0800 298 2190

0333 003 3270
0800 298 2190

Call Us Now

For a quote from the experts


Mobile phone icon

Call from a mobile:
0333 003 3270

Phone icon

Call FREE from a landline:
0800 298 2190

Cartoon Owl

It's better to talk


Alternatively:

Let us call you

For a quote from the experts

Cartoon Owl
It's better to talk



Get An Online Quote

Select your insurance type below:


Car

Car Insurance – Click here for a quote


Van

Van Insurance – Click here for a quote


Bike

Bike Insurance – Click here for a quote


Home

Home Insurance – Click here for a quote


Umbrella

Other Insurance...
Please contact us by phone

You may be able to get better rates over the phone.
Call now to speak to an experienced advisor.

Mobile phone icon

Call from a mobile:
0333 003 3270

Phone icon

Call FREE from a landline:
0800 298 2190



The UK climbs the list of Europe’s most congested countries

According to traffic data and software specialist Inrix, UK drivers wasted an average of 30 hours in congested traffic last year.

Britain climbed one place above Switzerland to fifth position on the list of Europe’s most congested countries.

The UK is still a long way behind Belgium however, which is Europe’s most congested country – with drivers spending an average of 51 hours stuck in gridlock in 2014.

Inrix’s annual Urban Mobility Scorecard has attributed the increase in UK congestion to a surge in roadwork and construction projects and an increase in people commuting to work by car, spurred by a growth in the UK economy and falling unemployment.

Last year, the economy grew by 2.8%, the highest rate since 2006. This was faster than any other major developed country and double the average EU rate of 1.4%.

Unemployment fell by 21% last year from 2013.

The problem was observed across the country with 14 of the 18 major metropolitan areas in the UK seeing a rise, compared to just 9 in 2013.

North Staffordshire saw the biggest increase (+37%), where drivers sat in traffic for an average of 26 hours.

This was closely followed by Greater Coventry (+33%), where the average idle time was estimated to be 28 hours. This has been attributed to extensive, long-term roadwork schemes such as Tollbar Island.

Inrix has also put congestion increases down to population growth and urbanisation. The UK population grew by 491,100 last year, reaching a record high.

London saw its population grow by 122,100 in 2014 and became Europe’s most congested city, with divers spending an average of 96 hours stuck in traffic, an increase of 14 hours from 2013.

President and CEO of 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.”

Garrett Emmerson, chief operating officer for surface transport at Transport for London said: “London’s continued success has made it one of the world’s most popular cities in which to live, work and visit, which also makes it one of the busiest.”

“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,” he added.

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

UK’s ten most congested metropolitan areas in 2014 (ranked by annual hours wasted):

Rank

UK Metropolitan Area

Hours Wasted in 2014

Change from 2013 (in hours)

1

London commute zone

96

14

2

Gr. Manchester

52

6

3

Merseyside

37

-1

4

Gr. Belfast

37

6

5

Gr. Birmingham

37

3

6

S. Nottinghamshire

35

-4

7

Avon & N. Staffordshire

30

6

8

Leeds-Bradford

29

4

9

Coventry & Warwickshire

28

7

10

N. Staffordshire

26

7


The worst routes and times to travel

UK traffic congestion was broken down on a road-by-road basis, identifying the worst routes in Britain and the worst times to travel.

The worst five routes belonged to London where mid-week, rush-hour traffic caused motorists to sit in traffic for up to 139 hours last year.

The UK’s most congested roads in 2014 (ranked by annual hours wasted):

Rank

Area

Road(s)

From

To

Distance (miles)

Worst Peak Period

Worst Day/Hour

Total Delay per Year (hours)

1

London

A217

Rosehill Roundabout

New Kings Road

10.37

AM

Weds 08:00

138.6

2

London

A215

Albany Road: Camberwell

Shirley Road: Croydon

9.55

PM

Fri

18:00

119.72

3

London

 

A4

 

Henlys Roundabout: Hounslow

Holborn Circus

14.68

AM

Weds 08:00

113.44

4

London

A4

Aldwych

Henlys Roundabout: Hounslow

14.18

PM

Weds 18:00

108

5

London

A23

Thornton Heath

Westminster Bridge

8.62

AM

Tues08:00

95.96


Outside of the capital, a 5-mile stretch of the A8 in Edinburgh was the most congested road with drivers spending up to 49 hours in gridlock.

The UK’s most congested roads outside London in 2014 (ranked by annual hours wasted):

Rank

Area

Road(s)

From

To

Distance (miles)

Worst Peak Period

Worst Day/Hour

Total Delay per Year (hours)

1

Edinburgh

A8

Princes Street: Edinburgh

Maybury Road: Edinburgh

5.15

PM

Tues 17:00

49.36

2

Manchester

A580

Boothstown: Worsley

Swinton Park Manchester

7.21

AM

Tues 08:00

41.12

3

Manchester

A5103

M60 J5: Northenden

Mancunian Way

4.55

AM

Mon 08:00

28.60

4

Newcastle upon Tyne

A1/A1(M)

Washington-Birtley Services

Lobley Hill: Gateshead

5.68

PM

Fri 17:00

27.60

5

Chester

A51

Turning for Great Barrow: Stamford Bridge

The Bars: Chester City Centre

4.57

PM

Fri 17:00

26.44


Traffic congestion across Europe

Inrix analysed 13 European countries in the report and found that over half (53%) experienced a rise in 2014 compared to the previous year, which reflected steady economic growth in those countries.

Nations with low economic growth and high unemployment showed typically lower levels of traffic congestion compared to 2013.

Countries in Europe with the highest levels of congestion (ranked by annual hours wasted):

Europe country rank 2014

Europe country rank 2013

Country

Country avg. hours wasted annually: 2013

Country avg. hours wasted annually: 2014

Difference between country avg. hours wasted annually from 2014 - 2013

Change in GDP 2014 (%)

1   

1

Belgium

58

51

-8

1.1

2   

2

Netherlands

45

41

-4

0.9

3   

3

Germany

35

39

4

1.6

4   ˄

5

Luxembourg

32

34

3

2.3

5   ˄

6

United Kingdom

30

30

0

2.6

6   ˅

8

Switzerland

25

29

4

2.0

7   ˅

4

France

29

29

0

0.2

8   ˄

9

Austria

31

25

-6

0.3

9   ˄

10

Ireland

21

24

4

4.8

10 ˅

7

Italy

25

20

-6

-0.4

11 

11

Spain

17

17

0

1.4

12 

13

Portugal

6

6

0

0.9

13 

12

Hungary

10

5

-4

0.9


The report analysed 94 European cities, of which almost half (48%) saw an increase in traffic compared to the pervious year.

Although London was the most congested city, Barcelona saw the biggest year-on-year increase at 66%.

Motorists suffered an average of 10 extra hours sitting in traffic in 2014, bringing the total average time to 25 hours compared to just 15 hours in 2013.

Again, this rise was attributed to economic growth, as Spain saw its first full year of growth in 2014 since the global recession. Unemployment in Barcelona also fell by 3%.

Europe’s most congested cities in 2014 (ranked by annual hours wasted):

2014 Rank

2013 Rank

Metro

Hours wasted in traffic 2014

Annual change in hours from 2013

1

2

London commute zone

96

14

2

1

Brussels

74

-9

3

6

Cologne

65

9

4

3

Antwerp

64

-14

5

5

Stuttgart

64

4

6

10

Karlsruhe

63

10

7

7

Milan

57

1

8

13

Düsseldorf

53

4

9

15

Utrecht

53

5

10

9

Ghent

52

-2

11

16

Gr. Manchester

52

6

12

12

S Gravenhage

51

2

13

14

Hamburg

48

0

14

17

Munich

48

4

15

4

Rotterdam

48

-15

16

8

Paris

45

-10

17

26

Bonn

42

4

18

22

Ruhrgebiet

42

2

19

11

Amsterdam

41

-9

20

18

Lyon

40

-4

21

37

Nuremburg

38

6

22

24

Merseyside

37

-2

23

41

Freiburg im Breisgau

37

5

24

38

Frankfurt am Main

37

5

25

43

Gr. Belfast

37

6


As reported in Call Wiser’s article; Budget 2015: What it means for motorists; Chancellor George Osborne acknowledged the UK’s “long-term structural failure to invest in Britain’s road network”, pointing out the fact that: “France has built more than 2500 miles of new autoroute in the past 25 years while the UK had built just 300”.

From 2020 onwards Mr Osborne plans to ring-fence all Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) to create a “Road Fund” to be used as “the investment our roads so badly need.”


Do you live in an area with high congestion? Do you think that the government is doing enough to improve our road infrastructure at the moment?

Leave your opinions in the comments section below:

If you are looking for five-star car insurance call the experts at Call Wiser today. With excellent rates from the UK’s leading providers, it really is better to talk.

Call from a mobile
0333 003 3270

Or FREE from a landline
0800 298 2190



Facebook

Find us on Facebook


Google+

Follow us on Google+


LinkedIn

Connect with us on LinkedIn



British Driving Licences: The most powerful in the world

Australian insurance comparison website Captain Compare have created an interactive infographic ranking driving licences in the order of how widely accepted they are globally, as well as displaying the countries where licences can be used, together with the relevant restrictions that apply in each country. Read more...



More than 400 learners crash during driving test

The Driving Standards Agency has revealed that 415 learner drivers were involved in an accident during their driving test last year. It was also revealed that 21 sat their test for at least the 30th attempt.
Read more...



At 95, Britain’s oldest driving instructor has no plans to stop

Meet Laura Thomas, a great-grandmother from Pembroke Dock in west Wales, who at the ripe old age of 95 is Britain’s oldest driving instructor.
Read more...



Woman handed drink-driving ban after pushing a car she hadn’t driven

A mother-of-six has been issued with a three year drink-driving ban for pushing a car to a safer place after it ran out of petrol.
Read more...


 


LinkedIn Google+ YouTube+ Twitter Facebook