A TomTom report claims 11 of the country’s cities make the list of the 100 most congested areas globally – with drivers in the UK spending as long as five days a year stuck in traffic.
Based on findings from last year, the study indicates that only China has a worse problem than the UK. Under the conditions of the TomTom report, the most congested city in the country is Belfast, where drivers have to put up with an average 43% increase in travel times when compared to driving on uncongested roads.
Motorists in the Northern Ireland capital spent as much as 200 hours in traffic delays last year, and faced a 87% increased travel times in peak rush hour periods.
capitals Edinburgh and London were perhaps unsurprisingly the next most congested cities based on the report, both of which experienced 40% increased journey times on average. They were followed by Manchester (38%), Brighton and Bournemouth (36%).
Worldwide, the traffic of 390 cities within 48 countries was analysed by TomTom, which declared Mexico City the most gridlocked, with a staggering 66% increased journey time. It was followed by Bangkok (61%) and Jakarta (58%) in Indonesia.
Highlighting the issue of tackling congestion earlier in the week, Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, stated: “Road congestion is a high price to pay for having a successful economy, and the risk is that gridlock starts to strangle growth.
“That is why we don’t just need sustained investment, to add capacity and install better traffic management systems, we need intelligent investment planned to minimise disruption during construction, minimise maintenance requirements, and provide more flexibility for the future.”
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “We are making the most extensive improvements to roads since the 1970s, investing a record £23 billion to keep our country moving and make journeys faster, better and more reliable for everyone.
“As announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement, we are also spending a further £1.3 billion over the course of this Parliament to relieve congestion and provide important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future.”
With traffic levels increasing year on year, this can only mean further issues down the road for the UK’s drivers, with added costs for road tax, car insurance and now having to sit for days on end in traffic jams. Does this spell the end of driving for many?