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London Is Europe's Most Congested City

By raccars Published

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Transport analyst Inrix has revealed that London has overtaken Brussels to become Europe's most congested city after analysing traffic data from 2014, with commuters in the capital spending up to 12 working days of the year stuck in traffic congestion.

London traffic has been getting steadily heavier since 2011, according to Inrix's annual report, and 2014 saw Londoners spend an extra 14 hours in traffic than they did in the previous year. Inrix claims the UK's economic recovery and rising urban population accounts for the extra traffic, causing congestion to increase countrywide. The UK economy grew at double the European average rate last year and employment was up, prompting higher levels of consumer spending and enabling the government to invest in road network maintenance and construction projects. This put more commuters into cars and onto the roads, and slowed down traffic.

In 2011 Inrix put London in eighth place in its most congested list; however, 2012 saw the UK capital jump to third place and in 2013 it was second to the Belgian capital. Outside London, Greater Manchester was the UK's second most congested area, followed by Merseyside, then Belfast and Birmingham. The average driver in the UK lost 30 hours to traffic congestion in 2014. Londoners lose 96 hours stuck in traffic annually and drivers in Manchester lose 52 hours to traffic every year.

According to Inrix's Traffic Scorecard Report, 77% of UK cities, or 14 of the UK's 18 metropolitan areas, saw congestion rise in 2014, with London home to all five of Britain's most gridlocked roads. Regular users of the A217 could lose nearly six days or 196 hours to traffic congestion every year. Traffic on a 9.5-mile stretch of the A215 between Shirley Road in Croydon and Albany Crescent in Camberwell costs drivers up to 120 hours every year, and the A4 on the 15 miles between Holborn Circus and Henlys Roundabout wastes up to 113 hours of the year. In percentage terms, Greater Coventry and North Staffordshire saw the biggest growth in congestion at 33% and 37% respectively.

On a national scale, Belgium is Europe's most congested country and its drivers average 51 wasted hours sitting in traffic every year. The Netherlands came next, followed by Germany and Luxembourg, with Britain in fifth place with an average 30 hours lost annually to traffic jams. More than half of the 13 countries analysed experienced greater congestion in 2014 than in the previous year.

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