Congestion: Two days a year of your life

Congestion: Two days a year of your life

20 Feb

By Clarissa Hearn

It’s already known that Taxi drivers avoid London's notorious A406 North Circular Road from Chiswick Roundabout to Hanger Lane "at all costs", says one firm.

Traffic data firm Inrix (a company that specializes in connected car services and transportation analytics) said drivers each lost the equivalent of a week to jams in 2018.

The Department for Transport (DFT) said it was investing in public transport to ease congestion, but road users lost an average of 178 hours each to congestion in 2018 in total across all roads. it's estimated the value of the time lost at about £7.9bn or £1,317 per driver.

In comparison by area, London's drivers lost about 227 hours each on average, compared with 190 hours in Belfast, 165 in Edinburgh and 143 in Cardiff.
Most congested roads in the UK
Area Road From To Hours lost per year
London A406 North Circular Rd Chiswick Roundabout Hanger Lane 61
London A23 Brixton Rd Kennington Thornton Rd 56
London Kingsway / Strand / Cannon Str Russell Square Monument 49
Leeds Leeds Rd-Saltaire Rd Harrogate Rd Bradford Rd 44
Birmingham A34 Stratford Rd Highfield Rd Highgate Middleway 44
London A406 North Circular Rd East Finchley Edmonton 43
London A1203 The Highway Canary Wharf Tower of London 43
Birmingham A34 Stratford Rd Highgate Middleway Highfield Rd 42
Leeds Huddersfield Rd / Leeds Rd Dewsbury Huddersfield 40
Manchester Bury New Rd Higher Broughton M60 (Outer Ring Rd) 34
Manchester Bramhall Lane South Bridge Lane Stockport 33
Black Country Dudley Port Black Country New Rd Dudley 32
Manchester Chapel / Crescent / Broad Str Victoria Bridge M60 (Outer Ring Rd) 32
Glasgow Great Western Rd Kelvinside Bearsden Rd 31
Birmingham Soho Hill/Birmingham Rd Icknield Str M5 West Bromwich 30
Source: Inrix

Traffic on the North Circular road between Chiswick Roundabout and Hanger Lane can start building as early as 04:30, according to taxi firm owner Manoj Teji.

Mr Teji, 51, who has lived and worked near the road all his life, said: "I can't see any solution to it."

He said the bottleneck road had had to cope with an increasing number of cars coming off the M4 and A40 in recent years, adding that drivers sometimes had no choice but to use the route, but where possible they avoid it at all costs.
However, Benjamin Menyhart, 27, who manages a hotel just off the A406 in Ealing, said although the road was quite busy, "I wouldn't have thought [it was] worse than some of the bigger routes in London."

Minicab driver Derek Kliger, 64, from Richmond said the road had not got any worse over the past three decades.

"It's a major circular route, and if people want to avoid the congestion charge it's the way you get from east to west London."
Rod Dennis, from the RAC, said although congestion was seen by some as a marker of a successful city, there was an enormous cost attached to it for drivers and for air pollution levels.

"Those cities that are best placed to grow will be those that are developing public transport systems that suit the needs of their citizens, and successfully decide the role the private car should play alongside these," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said the government was investing £23bn into the UK's roads, with £2.5bn to support "innovative public transport schemes" to help ease congestion in urban areas.

Transport for London said it was taking "bold" measures to reduce congestion, including extending the congestion charge to private hire vehicles.

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