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London worst for traffic, study reveals

LONDON motorists spend more time stuck in traffic than in any other European city, new research reveals.

Drivers waste around 96 hours on congested roads every year with the UK capital faring worse than its continental counterparts.

Britain came came fifth overall in a league of Europe’s most jammed-up countries compiled by traffic information provider INRIX.

INRIX president Bryan Mistele said the findings reflect a strengthening economy sparking a greater demand for road travel.

He said: “For the third year running, traffic in the UK is up.

“The strong growth of the UK economy and rise in urban populations have resulted in an increase in the demand for road travel, significantly driving levels of congestion up across the country.”

The biggest increase in congestion rates across the UK were seen in North Staffordshire and Greater Coventry.

Belgium emerged as Europe’s most congested country where drivers spent an average of 51 hours stuck in gridlock last year.

It was followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg with Spain, Portugal and Hungary the most likely to see steady traffic flow.

The research found traffic congestion had risen in 14 out of 18 UK metropolitan regions compared to nine two years ago.

Experts blame urbanisation and population growth with the number of people living in the UK rising by 491,100 last year.

Transport for London spokesman Garrett Emmerson said: “London’s continued success has made it one of the world’s most popular cities in which to live, work and visit, which also makes it one of the busiest.
 “We are seeing unprecedented increases in population and this, combined with strong economic growth and the consequent increase in building and construction, creates more traffic.”

Greater Manchester came out second in a separate the list of most congested UK cities followed by Merseyside and greater Belfast.

Across Europe Brussels was found to be the second worst city for traffic followed by Cologne, Germany, Antwerp, Belgium and  Stuttgart, Germany.

A 10-mile stretch of the A217 in London was found to be the capital’s most clogged road with motorist wasting 139 hours a year in slow traffic.





UK most congested cities (traffic hours)

1 London commute zone 96  

2 Gr. Manchester 52

3 Merseyside 37

4 Gr. Belfast 37

5 Gr. Birmingham 37

6 S. Nottinghamshire 35 

7 Avon & N. Staffordshire 30 

8 Leeds-Bradford 29 

9 Coventry & Warwickshire 28 

10 N. Staffordshire 26


Europe’s most congested cities

1 London commute zone 96

2 Brussels 74

3 Cologne 65

4 Antwerp 64

5 Stuttgart 64

6  Karlsruhe 63 

7 Milan 57

8 Düsseldorf 53 

9 Utrecht 53

10 Ghent 52

11  Gr. Manchester 52

12  S Gravenhage 51

13  Hamburg 48

14  Munich 48

15 Rotterdam 48 

16 Paris 45

17  Bonn 42

18 Ruhrgebiet 42 

19 Amsterdam 41

20  Lyon 40

21  Nuremburg 38

22  Merseyside 37

23  Freiburg im Breisgau 37 

24  Frankfurt am Main 37

25 Gr. Belfast 37


Europe’s most congested countries

1  Belgium

2  Netherlands  

3  Germany 

4 Luxembourg

5  United Kingdom 

6  Switzerland

7 France

8  Austria

9  Ireland

10  Italy

11  Spain 

12  Portugal

13  Hungary