Motorists in the UK lose on average nine days per-year due to congestion, TomTom has claimed. The sat-nav maker's Traffic Index, for example, reveals that non-peek time trips in Belfast take up to 32.4% longer than when traffic is free-flowing. That ensures it is the most congested city in the UK. Belfast is followed by Bristol (31%), Brighton & Hove (29.7%), Edinburgh (29.1%), London (28.9%), Leeds-Bradford (26%), Manchester (23%), Leicester (22.3%), Sheffield (21.7%), Liverpool (21.2%), Newcastle (21%), Birmingham (20%), Portsmouth (20%), Nottingham (18%), Southampton (18%), Glasgow (17%) and Cardiff (16%). Furthermore, 11 of these 17 cities are now more congested than the same period twelve months earlier. Only Edinburgh, Leeds-Bradford and Nottingham are less congested. Bristol, Birmingham and Glasgow failed to improve. Also, congestion is even higher than some people assume at peek times such as the morning rush hour. For example, in Belfast journeys takes up to 88% longer than during free-flowing times. Bristol, London and Brighton also have especially long rush hour jams.
TomTom Boss Discusses Traffic Index
TomTom Chief Executive Officer, Harold Goddijn, said: 'We are seeing a clear pattern which shows that congestion levels increase as economies emerge from recession. The traditional responses to tackling congestion, like building new roads or widening existing ones, are no longer proving effective. The way traffic is managed needs significant change'.
The TomTom Traffic Index – according to its producer – provides the general public, industry, and policy makers with unique and unbiased information about congestion in urban areas. These incorporate local roads, arterial routes and highways. Rather than relying on theoretical computer models, conclusions are based on GPS measurements collected from the company's sat-nav devices. As such TomTom – that has now produced its sixth Traffic Index Report - claims to have world’s largest database of historical travel times and the most detailed/accurate real-time information available. The influence of this resource can be seen in the company's satellite navigation devices which “help millions of drivers get to their destinations faster, safer and with lower emissions”. Furthermore, The TomTom Traffic Index stretches beyond the UK as there are reports for the American continent, Continental Europe, South Africa and Australia/New Zealand. These reveal that there are particularly significant traffic problems in Rio de Janeiro, Vancouver, Washington, Moscow, Istanbul, Cape Town, Sydney and Christchurch. Oh dear.