City congestion continues to climb

December 13 2017   | Region: Cymru Wales, East Midlands, East of England, London, North East & Cumbria, North West, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South East, South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire & the Humber

City congestion continues to climb

Belfast has been named as the UK’s most congested city for the fifth year running, with drivers wasting 200 hours a year stuck in traffic.

Vehicle trips through Belfast take 43% longer than they could in uncongested conditions which costs businesses over £14M, according to data from the vehicle telematics firm TomTom.

Edinburgh is the second most congested city, up from fourth place last year, with London third, Manchester fourth and Brighton & Hove fifth.

Average congestion across the 25 UK cities named in the study leads to trips taking 30% longer than in free flowing traffic. This equates to an average delay of 129 hours per vehicle per year, at a cost to businesses of over £915M in lost productivity.

The study adds that the congestion problem is getting worse, with the cost to businesses rising by almost £150M in the past year. The biggest financial hit from congestion was felt in London, where £264M is said to be lost to traffic each year, followed by Manchester (£169M).

“Traffic remains a serious issue for business and the resulting delays have potential implications for productivity, customer service standards and employee wellbeing,” said TomTom Telematics director Beverley Wise.

“The UK economy is paying the price for this at a time when the landscape is already challenging enough, with the growth rate now expected to be just 1.5% this year.”

She added that businesses can take action to mitigate the effect of congestion by developing smarter working schedules and shift patterns to help employees avoid driving at peak times.

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