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Posted by Kate Doyle

In 2016, data company Inrix set about analysing the traffic in Europe to find the countries with the worst congestion. They looked for ‘traffic hotspots’, which are identified as spots where a build-up in traffic causes drivers to drop their speed by at least 65% for a minimum of two minutes. After comparing the roads in 123 cities around Europe, it was the UK that topped the list with 20,375 traffic hotspots on UK roads across 21 cities.

For drivers, this may not come as a shock. After all, we can all think of one or two reasons why we think the UK roads are so congested. One of the causes is undoubtedly the number of vehicles on the road. The United Kingdom has 76% more vehicles than is the average for Europe, with 77 cars, vans or motorbikes per kilometre of road. With so many people making journeys in their vehicles, the roads in the UK are inevitably going to become busy, especially on roads that are key for getting from city to city.

To find the definitive ranking of each city, the Inrix researchers looked at the cost of each traffic jam, average duration, average length, number of people involved, and the total number of occurrences per hotspot.  Here’s the list of the most congested cities in the UK:

  1. London
  2. Edinburgh
  3. Glasgow
  4. Birmingham
  5. Manchester
  6. Bristol
  7. Leeds
  8. Cardiff
  9. Bradford
  10. Belfast

Of these cities, the five worst sections of road for traffic congestion in the UK (in September 2016 when the roads were analysed) were:

  1. London: M25 northbound between junctions 15 and 16, with 690 occurrences of congestion.
  2. London: M25 northbound between junctions 16 and 17, with 456 occurrences of congestion.
  3. London: M25 southbound between junctions 21 and 21A, with 13 occurrences, though an average duration of 273 minutes.
  4. Edinburgh: A720 westbound at Dreghorn Barracks, with 101 occurrences of congestion.
  5. Edinburgh A720 eastbound between A702 and A701, with 76 occurrences of congestion.

The top 10 hotspots of the UK’s 20,375 total hotspots alone are predicted to cause an economic cost of £3.7 billion to drivers in the UK over the next decade. With such an unbelievable price for simply being on the road, avoiding traffic jams can have a massive impact.

This is where Movolytics can help. The software allows for measuring fleet productivity, letting you organise drivers on UK roads in a smarter way rather than having drivers work longer hours. This involves optimising each vehicles route. The software does this using a live GPS-monitored map of the UK roads, which allows you to avoid traffic at peak times, and send each driver from point to point in the most efficient way. Paired with streamlined fuel use, the system can save both time and money. A further time saver comes from the ability to track each driver’s activities automatically, effectively completing their time sheet for them!




The image published with this article was created by N Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


kate's picture
Kate Doyle

My job is to be the customer champion. When I am not working on projects that are meaningful for our customers and our brand, I’m probably online shopping, doing yoga or nattering on the phone.