Traffic Congestion Cost UK Drivers Over £37.7bn in 2017

Traffic Congestion Cost UK Drivers

Traffic Congestion in UK

The UK ranked as the 10th most congested country in the world and the 3rd most congested in Europe, with drivers spending an average of 31 hours a year in congestion during peak hours. The direct and indirect costs of congestion to all UK motorists amounted to over £37.7 billion in 2017, an average of £1,168 per driver. The analysis, the largest ever study of congestion covered 1,360 cities across 38 countries was carried out by INRIX.

In the UK, the INRIX 2017 Global Traffic Scorecard analysed congestion in 111 cities and towns. London remained the UK’s most congested major city for the 10th year in a row, ranked 2nd in Europe after Moscow and 7th in the world overall. Drivers in London spent an average of 74 hours in gridlock during peak hours, an increase of one hour since last year. This contributed to congestion costing London drivers £2,430 a year each and the capital as a whole £9.5 billion from direct and indirect costs. Direct costs relate to the value of fuel and time wasted, while indirect costs relate to freighting and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic that are passed on to the household bills through higher prices.

Along with the capital, Manchester, Birmingham, Luton and Edinburgh made up the UK’s five most major congested cities. Drivers in Manchester spent 39 hours in congestion during peak hours, and 10% of their total drive time (peak and non-peak hours) in gridlock. This in turn cost each driver £1,403, and the city £345 million. Motorists in Birmingham spent over 9% of their total drive time in congestion last year, costing the city £632 million.

“Combined with the rising price of motoring, the cost of congestion is astonishing – it takes billions out of the economy and impacts businesses and individuals alike,” said Dr. Graham Cookson, Chief Economist, INRIX. “With the Office of National Statistics showing more cars on the road than ever before, we need to consider innovative new approaches to solving the issue. Increased flexible working or road charges have potential, however, transport authorities should be looking to exciting developments in data analytics and AI which promise to reinvent our approach to traffic management.”


INRIX 2017 Traffic Scorecard – UK’s 10 Most Congested Major Cities / Large Urban Areas

Rank City Peak Hours Spent in Congestion INRIX Congestion Index Average Congestion Rate  Total Cost per Driver  Total Cost to the City
1 London 74 14.1 13% £2,430 £9.5bn
2 Manchester 39 6.8 10% £1,403 £345m
3 Birmingham 36 6.3 9% £1,281 £632m
4 Luton 29 5.2 11% £1,143 £102m
5 Edinburgh 28 5 9% £1,155 £309m
6= Bournemouth 27 5.6 11% £1,225 £121m
6= Bristol 27 4.7 9% £1,028 £225m
8 Newcastle 24 4.2 7% £991 £139m
9 Coventry 23 3.9 7% £905 £140m
10 Liverpool 20 4.1 9% £1,101 £273m

UK vs. Europe: How do we Measure Up?

Of the 784 European cities analysed, Moscow topped the list as the most congested in Europe for the second year in a row, where drivers spent 91 hours last year in traffic congestion at peak hours. Drivers in Moscow spent over 26% of their total drive time (peak and non-peak hours) in congestion. London (74 hours) is second on the list of Europe’s most congested major cities, followed by Paris (69 hours), Istanbul (59 hours) with Krasnodar (57 hours) rounding out the top five.

INRIX 2017 Global Traffic Scorecard – 10 Most Congested Major Cities in Europe in 2017

Rank City Country Peak Hours Spent in Congestion INRIX Congestion Index Average Congestion Rate
1 Moscow Russia 91 20.1 32%
2 London UK 74 14.1 20%
3 Paris France 69 13.1 21%
4 Istanbul Turkey 59 12.2 25%
5 Krasnodar Russia 57 12.4 31%
6 Saint Petersburg Russia 54 11.6 26%
7 Zurich Switzerland 51 9.2 29%
8 Munich Germany 51 9.1 27%
9 Sochi Russia 48 10.9 28%
10 Nizhny Novgorod Russia 48 10.2 26%