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UK drivers spend a day each year stuck in and part of rush hour traffic

Joe Robinson
6 Feb 2018

Study finds that London motorists lost 74 hours in traffic

Those who drive to work in major UK cities spend more than a day each year stuck in rush hour traffic with this costing drivers an average of £1,168.

New research that assessed traffic between 06:00 to 09:00 and 16:00 to 19:00 each day found that drivers were losing over a day each year due to congestion with those in London losing on average 74 hours per year.

Manchester motorists were next losing almost 39 hours per year with the cities of Lincoln and Birmingham close behind. The same research also found that drivers lose on average £1,168 per year through costs such as wasted fuel and working time.

These latest findings have spurred further calls for drivers to consider alternative forms of transport of which cycling is one and contradicted claims that cycling actually increased congestion within UK cities.

Recently, Labour peer Lord Winston argued that increased levels of pollution would be the outcome of more segregated cycling infrastructure causing further congestion. However this latest research showed that London's most congested areas were not found alongside segregated cycleways.

Commenting on the research, head of campaigns for Cycling UK Ducan Dollimore stated, 'Unsurprisingly, it seems that those countries more renowned for their cycle infrastructure are less congested, but who needs facts and evidence when a counter narrative fits.'

He added, 'Given the cost and scale of the congestion problems this report lays bare, it would be helpful if there was now an evidence-led discussion about the causes of congestion, and the potential solutions, such as getting people out of private cars in city centres and onto public transport, walking and cycling.'

If drivers were to consider cycling as an alternative to driving, it is worth mentioning that the £1,168 saved from not driving would comfortably cover the cost of buying a bike, helmet, shoes, kit and an efficient set of lights.

It would also see those who used to drive get fitter and more active as they would be incorporating a daily form of exercise into their routine while reducing congestion and air pollution problems within cities due to the decreased volume of traffic. 

With average car speeds of 13mph in peak times in London, it would also arguably get you home quicker.

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