The UK has more traffic hotspots than any other European country, a new report has revealed.
If unaddressed this will likely cost the economy £62bn over the next decade in lost time, Data company Inrix has claimed.
The study by the data company showed that there were 20,300 traffic hotspots in UK cities, almost 12,000 more than the next country, Germany, and more than the following seven European countries combined.
The Inrix analysis defined a road as a hotspot once congestion forces drivers to reduce their speed by 65% for at least two minutes.
It also identified that London had more traffic hotspots than any other UK destination and had an impact factor 28 times more than an average city.
Using the DfT’s own value of time calculation combined with the hotspot data, Inrix arrived at its eye-watering estimate just days after the transport secretary pledged to spend £1.3bn to relieve congestion and improve the road network.
In a separate piece of research, TomTom warned that congestion was already costing UK businesses £767m a year in lost productivity alone.
It found average journey times were 29% longer than they would be in free-flowing conditions in 2015. This was up from 25% in 2010.
“Traffic congestion may be seen as a fact of life for every driver but, cumulatively, it is taking a heavy toll on the UK economy and this should not be accepted as an inevitability,” said Beverley Wise, TomTom Telematics director.
“Making the most of billable time is key to profitability for any business, so organisations that rely heavily on a mobile workforce must look for ways to maximise the time employees spend actually doing jobs by minimising time spent on the road.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced last week that the government would spend £1.1bn on the local road network, easing congestion and upgrading the roads, plus “a £220m package of smaller improvements” for the strategic road network.
This includes improvements along 18 miles of the A69 from Hexham to Newcastle.
However, Grayling added that £70m of the investment going to highways authorities next year would be coming out of the Pothole Action Fund, “to ensure that work can start quickly to help continue improvements to the country’s roads”.