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The report from TomTom is the fourth annual Traffic Index and shows average journeys in 2013 took 27% longer than they would in free-flowing traffic – up 1% from the delay in 2012.
The traffic jams in 10 of the UK’s largest cities has become significantly worse over the past 12 months, to include London, Brighton, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Belfast and Southampton. Congestion levels have also failed to improve in Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Glasgow.
The only two councils who have seen a recent improvement are Leeds-Bradford and Bristol where congestion is reported as lower.
The report also suggests that drivers who choose short-cuts to try to cut down their journey time, may in fact be making their journeys slower, with data showing local roads with twice as much lost travel time (32%) as main roads (15%).
British commuters are now spending 10 working days a year stuck in traffic, a full day’s increase from a year ago when the total was 9 days.
Belfast was reported by TomTom as the most congested city in the UK with journey times 36% slower than free-flow traffic throughout the day, with peak times 78% longer in morning rush hour and 75% longer in the evening. London came second with peak journey times 63% slower, closely followed by Edinburgh with a 60% increase in morning rush hour traffic.
Sheffield and Leicester in 8th and 11th place respectively, have recorded the largest increases in congestion over the past year.
“Traffic congestion is nothing new, and continues to be a global challenge,” commented Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom. “The traditional responses to congestion – such as building new roads or widening existing ones – are no longer proving to be effective.
“Real time traffic information can help drivers find the quickest shortcut on their journey, and assist governments to make smarter decisions to improve traffic flow for their cities,” he said.
The TomTom Traffic Index compares travel times during non-congested hours with travel times in peak hours experienced by passenger vehicles. The Index takes into account local roads, main roads and motorways, across 180 cities in six continents.
To download a copy of the UK TomTom Traffic index click here.