posted 5 years ago

UK Motorists Spend Nine Days Per-Year In Traffic

TomTom Traffic Index Finding

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.

The government has a vested interest in not carrying out either social engineering, overhauling our road network or an integrated public transport system because they gather extra tax every minute every motorist waits at junctions or in traffic jams. The private motorist could hit back by buying more modest cars. As the average speed of a car while it is moving is almost low enough to be in single figures large engines really have no place on our roads, in fact for most people most of the time a micro-engined car would adequately meet the needs - using less fuel, emitting less CO2 especially during manufacture, taking up less room on the roads and being easier to park and needing less capital investment to buy and run. The government should enter the spirit of fair road taxation they pay lip service to by scrapping vehicle excise duty altogether and putting a few pence on the cost of fuel. There certainly should be no vehicles that are exempt - anyone who can afford a new car should be able to afford to pay some annual road rent for the windscreen. The best way to avoid waiting in traffic is to work within walking distance of home or to live within walking distance of work. In most cases relocation should be mandatory. If the country was well-run there could be no possible excuse for people hurtling around the country except when on holiday.

Belfast - that's because the council have introduced so many bus lanes that there's only half the capacity for private transport. Public transport isn't an option in NI as most people live in rural areas. The park and ride areas outside of Belfast offer limited parking spaces and money needs channeled to the motorways and link roads, not secondary roads.

Tom Tom or the journalist need to take a PEEK in a dictionary. Can we really rely on data from people who cannot even spell. I expect a little better in important reports! Not quite the pinnacle (peak) I would expect. But maybe I am different. I am reasonably literate. Wee cann awl make shpellin mishtakes but is this ohkay for sum?

The private motorist is always being blamed for causing congestion, but HGVs, buses, and "Traffic Calming" measures are the real cause. The roads should be returned to their rightful owners, the VED payers, and all monies so raised should be used to improve road conditions for those payers. Banning HGVs from city centres, as already happens in some continental cities, would reduce travel times and accidents, and the introduction of trams with dedicated and segregated tracks would entice more people to use public transport, freeing the roads for those who, for one reason or another, cannot avoid driving. I drive a small, car-derived, delivery van around all day, and it annoys me intensely to be held up by unneccessary congestion.

Can't we get away from this nonsense that new roads automatically, (by magic) create congestion. This started when anti-roads campaigners (terrorists) claimed that new roads were the source of all evil and Maggie Thatcher realised she could save a whole load of money by not improving the road system. What we have to get back to is what most Road Engineers would love to do and that is "to predict and to provide" again. The only way out of this mess is to build new roads quickly to adequate capacity. We have to spend real money.

Ride a motorcycle! No problem!

It is diabolical in 21st century England, that a lot of motorists are delayed because 3rd rate governments and councils like that of Leicester, because of bad road maintenance planning and lack of punishments for bad drivers. When will you people wake up and face reality? Why does the innocent people have to day in day out unnecessarily? Do you people in charge know how much it costs motorists in fuel, insurance and car maintenance?

'Peak', not 'peek'. Also, "non-peek time trips in Belfast take up to 32.4% longer than when traffic is free-flowing". Surely that should be peak, rather than non-peak time?