Cambridge is the UK’s ‘commuter congestion’ capital

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Admiral research shows the most congested UK cities

cars-in-rush-hour-traffic-on-a-motorway

A study of 20 UK cities reveals commuters waste on average 12 days a year sitting in congestion, according to new research by Admiral.

It found drivers are losing an average of 12 days a year sitting in their vehicles during rush hour traffic, with drivers in Cambridge spending almost double that – 23 days – getting to and from work at peak times.

Newcastle was the least congested city, with a rush hour journey adding just 20 minutes on average, equivalent to six days per year, half the national average.

Admiral compared the travel time for three routes into each city calculating the time for the same journey arriving at 9am on a Sunday morning when roads are traditionally quiet, compared with arriving at peak commuter time of 9am on Monday morning.

Congested cities: how many days do we lose to commuting?

Rank

City

Number of extra minutes for a rush hour journey

Congestion days per year

1

Cambridge

72

23

2

Leeds

51

16

3

Manchester

47

15

4

Sheffield

46

14

5

Edinburgh

45

14

6

Birmingham

43

14

7

Bristol

43

13

8

Cardiff

41

13

9

Aberdeen

38

12

10

London

38

12

11

Nottingham

37

12

12

Brighton

35

11

13

Derby

34

11

14

Glasgow

33

10

15

Oxford

33

10

16

Liverpool

29

9

17

Coventry

23

7

18

Southampton

22

7

19

Norwich

22

7

20

Newcastle

20

6

Average

 

 

12

Based on comparing journey times for arrival at 9am Monday morning (rush hour) with 9am Sunday morning.

Admiral also analysed the number of cars and vans entering each city for work compared with those leaving the city to commute elsewhere, to understand the direct impact on city congestion.

Aberdeen has the highest influx of commuters – leading to a 406% increase in vehicles, while Brighton is the only city where more vehicles commute away from the city than into it, resulting in a 3% decrease.

With 38,750 cars and vans coming into Aberdeen but only 7,654 commuting away from the city, the net population increase of traffic in Aberdeen was 406% increase – the most of any city investigated.

Cambridge was second with 294% as a result of 34,959 cars/vans entering but only 8,874 leaving the city. In Edinburgh 56,878 entered and 18,190 left equating to a 213% increase. Brighton was the only city where more drivers left the city (20,022) than entered (19,443) making the roads 3% quieter.

Commuter congestion: the impact of industry

Rank

City

Number of cars/vans commuting into city

Number of cars/vans commuting away from city

Difference

% change as a result of cars/vans commuting into city %

1

Aberdeen

38,750

7,654

31,096

406%

2

Cambridge

34,959

8,874

26,085

294%

3

Edinburgh

56,878

18,190

38,688

213%

4

Oxford

30,592

9,882

20,710

210%

5

Glasgow

91,946

33,299

58,647

176%

6

Manchester

109,961

42,914

67,047

156%

7

Norwich

34,867

13,799

21,068

153%

8

Nottingham

59,811

23,878

35,933

150%

9

Newcastle

53,605

24,793

28,812

116%

10

Inner London

260,293

122,019

138,274

113%

11

Cardiff

52,538

25,645

26,893

105%

12

Leeds

86,700

50,238

36,462

73%

13

Liverpool

55,458

33,394

22,064

66%

14

Birmingham

110,762

71,031

39,731

56%

15

Bristol

58,283

37,422

20,861

56%

16

Derby

34,469

23,112

11,357

49%

17

Sheffield

48,824

34,001

14,823

44%

18

Coventry

41,704

29,222

12,482

43%

19

Southampton

31,976

29,296

2,680

9%

20

Brighton

19,443

20,022

-579

-3%

Sabine Williams, head of motor at Admiral, said: “Commuters won’t be surprised to hear that journey times are significantly longer in rush hour traffic, but looking at the figures in terms of ‘wasted’ days will really bring home how much time we can spend behind the wheel.

“Simple measures like planning ahead, leaving plenty of time, or working from home where possible will all help reduce the amount of time spent in traffic congestion. Car sharing could also help reduce congestion, with many local authorities and businesses having schemes to match people with similar journeys who could team up to travel together.

“Commuters suffering congestion in cities like Cambridge may find that new public transport options including the guided bus can save significant amounts of time, and with Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton set to be ‘clean air zones’ by 2020, drivers of older diesel vehicles in particular will be well placed to start considering alternatives.

“As a nation we’re clearly still big fans of commuting by car, with 19 of the 20 cities we investigated showing net inflows of commuters. If new homes being built across the continue to have the average of 1.16 vehicles per household, our roads are set to get busier too, making congestion worse.”

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