How much time are UK commuters losing and why?


Congestion in the UK has risen by 40% during the last four years, according to investigations. And as a result, drivers commuting around cities in Britain are spending an increased amount of time sat in traffic.

The study by leading traffic intelligence provider Inrix indicate that London is in fact the worst place in terms of time spent queueing in rush hour, with drivers spending more than 100 hours stuck in traffic each year. This is the equivalent of Londoners spending as much as 12 whole working days a year sat in rush hour traffic.

Factors attributed to the congestion

This alarming figure is thought to be down to the fact that there has been a significant rise in the amount of vans on the roads delivering goods as more and more people shop on the internet. So although you are saving yourself the journey of picking up your food shop from Tesco, you could be inadvertently adding time to the morning commute.

Another possible cause could be the growth of companies like Uber, which allows people to privately hire mini-cabs at their convenience. According to research by private hire company Addison Lee, journey times have increased by around 10% over the last year due to a rise in mini-cabs in London.

With certain routes through the capital now being reduced to an average speed of 5mph, commuters are growing increasingly frustrated as traffic continues to eat into their valuable time.

Such astonishing figures have resulted in a call for action to reduce lengthy journeys in the capital. Lord Wolfson, chief executive of retailer giant Next, has set a £250,000 reward prize for anyone who could create the most suitable solution to the UK’s crippling congestion problem. Perhaps this grand gesture can spur on the flow of ideas and action to combat the issue, whilst UK roads continue to grind to a halt.

Lord Wolfson is quoted as stating that congestion is “bad for our economy and for people’s quality of life”, and that the UK government “aren’t getting the investment” to repair “our creaking road network.” These assertive statements will surely echo the opinion of millions of road users nationwide as they face increasing numbers of stand stills and delays.

The future of our commutes?

Concern for the UK’s economy over increased congestion has been voiced before by Inrix, who claimed in a 2014 report that between 2013 and 2030, the cost of congestion to the UK economy could amount to an extraordinary £307 billion.

This staggering cost is thought to be due to the value of fuel and the amount being wasted and higher freight costs due to company vehicles being stuck in traffic. The report also suggested that an increase in the UK’s population between 2013 and 2030 will be the main cause of increased congestion, as more and more vehicles join the daily commute.

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