RAC Cars News


London hell for commuters

By raccars Published

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It will come as little surprise to drivers who regularly visit the UK capital that a new report has named London the worst place to commute in the UK. Despite the introduction of a number of initiatives aimed at reducing congestion in the city, traffic still moves more slowly in London than anywhere else in the UK.

Those who've had enough of sitting in traffic may want to up sticks to Peterborough, which the report, by Direct Line Drive Plus, named as the best place for UK residents to make their daily commute. The average speed travelled by cars in the rush hour in Peterborough was measured at 19.25mph, in comparison to 10.06 in London's City of Westminster area.

The report studied black box data covering 20 million miles of driving. The devices are fitted to the vehicles of consumers taking out a Drive Plus insurance policy with Direct Line and identify driving speeds and behavioural patterns. Analysis of the data recorded by the boxes showed that an average daily commute of 30 minutes takes 5.95 minutes longer during the rush hour than it does at off peak times.

This delay increases in areas where traffic congestion is worst - for example a 30 minute drive at peak times in Canterbury is subject to a delay of 9.7 minutes, in St Albans the journey time is increased by 8.9 minutes and in Worcester by 8.6 minutes.

Westminster's average rush hour speed of 10.06mph unfortunately isn't much faster, even out of peak times, with a 12.78mph average speed the rest of the day. Following closely behind Westminster for the title of worst place to commute is Lancaster, with a 10.88mph average rush hour speed, then Cambridge at 11.30mph, Hereford at 11.49mph and Bath at 12.00mph.

In comparison, Peterborough's 19.25mph rush hour average speed is followed by York's 17.64mph, 16.25mph in Coventry, 16.04mph in Chelmsford and 15.94mph in Swansea.

Meanwhile, a report by satellite navigation firm, TomTom, has shown that commuters in the UK spend about 10 days of every year in traffic jams. The same report showed that congestion in the biggest cities in the UK has only got worse over the past year.

The volume of traffic has increased in London, Sheffield, Brighton, Nottingham, Birmingham, Leicester, Cardiff, Portsmouth, Southampton and Belfast. The latter was named as the UK's most congested city by TomTom's report, ahead of London.

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