Drivers lose six days a year stuck in traffic due to controversial Ulez schemes and 20mph speed limits

Drivers lose six days a year stuck in traffic due to controversial Ulez schemes and 20mph speed limits

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Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 15/04/2024

- 10:57

Delays could see drivers spend 40 minutes in traffic to travel six miles

Congestion in major cities across the UK is getting worse, leading to driver being trapped in their cars, and in some cases spending days in traffic.

Research looking into the most congested cities in the UK found that London, Bristol and Manchester have the longest delays, especially during rush hour as commuters set off to and from work.

London was pinned as having the longest delays with drivers losing a total of 148 hours or more than six days per year sitting in traffic.

On average, data revealed how it takes drivers nearly 40 minutes to travel a distance of just six miles in the city.

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Busy traffic

Traffic in London was flagged as the worst in the country


Greg Wilson, CEO at Quotezone, said: “It’s frustrating when you start thinking about how many hours you’re spending each year waiting in traffic. Motorists in the capital are most impacted by congestion, losing nearly a week being stuck behind the wheel.

“What is quite surprising is that data shows Bristol is the second worst congested city in the UK, despite being considerably smaller than cities like Birmingham, Manchester or Leeds.

“With people living in the top ten most gridlocked cities wasting between three and six days every year in traffic jams, there must be more steps taken to tackle congestion issues.

“Not only are drivers wasting their time, they’re also wasting money, even a small car idling in traffic can use up to a litre of petrol in an hour.”

He explained how through low traffic neighbourhoods, 20mph zones and clean air initiatives like London's Ulez, drivers end up spending more time in traffic as a result of the schemes.

Outside of the capital, drivers in Bristol and Manchester are also experiencing high levels of traffic, slowing them down to roughly 13mph during peak times and losing almost four full days to congestion.

In the Midlands, drivers in Leicester faced delays of roughly 79 hours per year stuck in traffic, followed closely by Sheffield with 76 hours.

Liverpool and Belfast however saw drivers waste three days stuck behind the wheel.

Top 10 most congested cities in the UK

1. London - 148 hours

2. Bristol - 89 hours

3. Manchester - 88 hours

4. Leicester - 79 hours

5. Sheffield - 76 hours

6. Liverpool - 75 hours

7. Belfast - 75 hours

8. Edinburgh - 74 hours

9. Hull - 71 hours

10. Nottingham - 69 hours


Traffic in Anchor Road in Bristol City centre

Traffic in Bristol saw drivers waste 89 hours per year


Wilson added: “To help save money, drivers should try and plan around busy roads and peak times but that’s often not possible.

“Car sharing may be a fuel saving option for come commuters as well as economical driving – smooth braking, moving into a higher gear sooner and reducing the heat or air conditioning, to help reduce fuel waste and environmental damage.”

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