Urban Congestion in the UK Exceeds Pre-COVID Levels2 min read
Urban congestion in the UK is returning to pre-COVID levels, causing commuters in the country’s urban centers to deal with worsening traffic delays.
Inrix Inc., a mobility analytics company, conducted an analysis of 110 urban regions in the United Kingdom and concluded that 72 percent of them had had delays equal to or greater than those experienced before the advent of COVID.
More than 1,000 locations in 50 nations were analyzed to determine congestion and mobility patterns for commuters in 2022.
For the second consecutive year running, London has been named the city with the worst traffic congestion. Drivers there wasted an extra 156 hours, an increase of 5% compared to pre-COVID levels. Time spent sitting in traffic cost the typical driver £1,377 in 2022.
Next in line was Bristol (£805 in lost time), followed closely by Manchester with £742.
Across 2022, traffic delays caused the UK driver to lose about 80 hours – an increase of seven hours from 2021, but a dip of 35 hours compared to 2019.
High oil prices had an additional effect on drivers beyond just wasted time, as evidenced by the fact that, on average, London commuters spent over £212 more per year on gas due to rising costs, while drivers across the country spent an extra £122.
When the statistics on urban congestion in the UK were broken down further, five of the busiest corridors in the UK were found to be in the nation’s capital. As of 2022, vehicles stuck in traffic along the A219 S/B between A304 Fulham Road and A297 Morden Hall Road in London lost a total of 47 hours. Drivers spent an average of 37 hours stuck in traffic on the A45 E/B between Bordesley Circus and Henry Road in Birmingham, the busiest corridor outside of London.
London topped the list of the most congested cities (156 hours), followed by Chicago (155), Paris (138), Boston (134), and New York (117). London’s 5% rise in 2022 was overshadowed by increases in other top 10 cities like Chicago (49%), Boston (72%), and New York City (15%) as a result of laxer COVID-19 restrictions.
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