London has topped the global congestion ranking, while nearly two thirds of UK cities suffered traffic delays, a new report has revealed.
The latest INRIX Traffic Scorecard for 2015 says strong economic growth and record population levels in London made it the first city to exceed 100 annually wasted hours per driver in jams.
The previous year, 2014, London became the most congested city in Europe, with drivers losing an average 96 hours.
UK’s ten most congested metropolitan areas in 2015 (ranked by annual hours wasted):
INRIX, the connected car technology and transportation analytics company, said London was 'the victim of its own success' and backed Transport for London’s Road Modernisation Plan.
A 10-mile stretch of the A217 in London was the country’s most congested road for the second year running, costing drivers 110 hours of wasted time during 2015.
Nationally, despite traffic being up in 61% of cities, and drivers spending 30 hours on average in congestion last year, Britain has moved down to sixth in the list of Europe’s most congested countries.
Belfast saw the UK’s biggest increase in congestion outside London, with drivers spending almost an hour extra on the road last year.
Birmingham saw the biggest improvement, with a decrease of 2.5 wasted hours annually. INRIX said this could be attributed to the completion of both roadworks on the M6 and redevelopment projects in the city centre.
Congestion was up slightly in 11 of the 18 UK metropolitan areas in 2015, compared to 14 in 2014.
Bryan Mistele, president & CEO of INRIX, said: ‘London is the victim of its own success, with a robust jobs market and a growing economy attracting more people, more construction and consequently more traffic.
‘Transport for London is tackling this problem with its £4bn Road Modernisation Plan. Whilst in the short term the roadworks from this initiative are frustrating for drivers, they are a step towards creating a more sustainable and modernised transport network.’
The report analysed traffic congestion in more than 100 cities across the world. It says Belgium remains Europe’s most gridlocked country, with drivers stuck in traffic for 44 hours on average.