RAC Cars News


£300 Billion Cost Of Congestion

By raccars Published

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Research by traffic monitors, INRIX and CEBR (Centre for Economics and Business Research), has predicted that traffic congestion will grow to cost UK families £21 billion per year by 2030.

The average UK family will lose time worth £2,000 spent in traffic every year by 2030, while in the country's most congested city, London, the cost will reach £4,000 annually. The total cost to the UK economy will reach £300 billion by 2030.

At the moment, French drivers spend more time in traffic than those in the UK, Germany and the USA, but by 2030, Britain is set to overtake France as the most congested country among the world's main economies. The gridlock is to be caused by a population explosion to 72 million in 2030 from 64 million now, and by an increasingly successful national economy.

The annual cost to the national economy of sitting in traffic will rise by 63% to £21 billion by 2030, compared to £13 billion in 2013. The cost of the same to each household will see a 44% jump to £2,057, from £1,426 last year. In time costs, the average motorist in the UK currently spends 124 hours annually in traffic, which will rise to 136 hours by 2030 - that's the equivalent of 18 working days. Drivers in London spend twice the national average time in traffic congestion every year, at 250 hours in 2013, but this is predicted to go up to 299 hours by 2030 or 40 working days.

INRIX and the CEBR analysed data from the 18 biggest urban areas in the UK to reach its conclusions. Apart from London, Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Coventry, Cardiff, Liverpool, Newcastle and Leicester were included in the findings. Although car ownership figures are expected to decrease slightly, population growth will put more cars on the road overall as the economy in the UK continues to grow.

From 2013 to 2030, 18% of the UK's productive wealth will be spent in traffic congestion in the form of £307 billion. Of this, £191 billion is classed as direct costs in the form of fuel and reduced working hours. There will also be £115 billion in indirect costs, or increased freight and transport fees, as fleet vehicles sit idle in traffic. This passes on to consumers via higher household bills.

Nearly 70% of the UK workforce use their cars to commute to work. In London only a third of residents commutes by car, but the UK capital is still the most congested city in the world, losing £5.4 billion to traffic congestion in 2013.

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