UK traffic congestion – no, building more roads is not the answer!

UK drivers wasted an average of 31 hours in rush-hour traffic last year, costing each motorist £1,168, a study by traffic data firm Inrix suggests.
The UK is the world’s 10th most congested country and London is Europe’s second most gridlocked city after Moscow. Manchester, Birmingham, Luton and Edinburgh completed the UK’s top five major areas affected. The government said a record £23bn was being invested in road schemes.

The study – which took into account direct costs such as wasted fuel and time, as well as indirect consequences, such as higher prices for household goods due to increased freight fees – found London drivers spent an average of 74 hours in gridlock last year, at a cost of £2,430. Inrix chief economist Dr Graham Cookson called for innovative approaches to deal with the “astonishing” cost of congestion that took “billions out of the economy”.
He said flexible working hours and road charges “have potential”, but said transport authorities should be looking at data analytics and artificial intelligence that “promise to reinvent our approach to traffic management”. Inrix ranked most congested areas using the financial cost of congestion, as well as hours wasted. But a top 10 list of hours wasted in congestion includes towns like Braintree in Essex, and Bath in Somerset.

What a surprise – the UK has lots of traffic congestion! Not really much of a shock – you have lots of densely populated areas; an ever-rising population; an over-dependence on cars; and little incentive to not travel or not use a car!

Rather than increasing Government spending on more roads, widening roads and upgrading of roads, funds should be shifted to reducing car use.

Fewer trips
Working from home
Using public transport
Using technology rather than travelling.


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