Most congested UK cities revealed
London, for the second year in a row, has been the rated the most congested city in the world, according to traffic experts at Inrix.
In the UK overall, traffic delays increased in 79 out of 110 urban areas year-over-year.
Inrix’s Traffic Scorecard showed drivers in London losing 156 hours sitting in congestion, 5% above pre-pandemic delays.
In fact, 72% (79 of the 110) of the UK urban areas analysed have met or exceeded pre-Covid delays.
Commuting in London cost the average driver £1,377 in lost time. This was followed by Bristol (£805 lost time) and Manchester (£742 lost time).
Yet due to high oil prices, commuters paid as much as £212 more for fuel in 2022 year-on-year, depending on location. While the average UK commuter spent £707 in lost time, they also paid £122 more for fuel due to oil prices.
Bob Pishue, transportation analyst and author of the report, said: “It is great to see civic and commercial life returning to normal, but unfortunately, we’re seeing congestion inching closer to, if not exceeding, pre-pandemic levels.
“We must manage congestion while improving mobility and accessibility in cities to avoid it hurting economic recovery and impacting the quality of life of commuters and residents.”
Drivers in London (156 hours), Bristol (91 hours), and Manchester (84 hours) lost the most time to traffic congestion in the UK.
Globally, the next most congested cities after London were Chicago (155 hours), Paris (138 hours), Boston (134 hours) and New York (117 hours).
The average UK driver lost 80 hours due to traffic congestion last year – up 7 hours from last year but down 35 hours from 2019.
The cities of Cambridge, Exeter, and Cheltenham – present on the UK Top 10 list in 2021 – fell out of the top 10, replaced by Edinburgh (7th), Leeds (9th) and Leicester (10th).
The top five most congested UK corridors were all found in the capital.
London’s most congested corridor – A219 S/B from A304 Fulham Road to A297 Morden Hall Road – saw drivers lose 47 hours in 2022. This major route out of the city often experiences high volumes of traffic at peak times commuting times.
In addition, the continued closure of the Hammersmith Bridge has also contributed to increased delay in the area.
Outside of London, the busiest corridor was in Birmingham – A45 E/B from Bordesley Circus to Henry Road – costing drivers 37 hours.
Much of this congestion occurred due to road works to make improvements to the route that have run throughout the latter part of 2022 and traffic incidents that have occurred on the route.
How the UK cities compare to top cities worldwide
Many parts of the world have seen relaxations in Covid-19 restrictions in 2022, which resulted in greater increases in traffic congestion in cities around the world when compared to UK cities.
London’s 5% increase is dwarfed by other top 10 cities including Chicago (49%), Boston (72%) and New York City (15%).