The WORST places to drive revealed

UK city streets are becoming busier and more congested than ever.

Anyone that commutes to work or drives for a living will know that the UK’s roads are full to bursting point. Back in 1971 there were around 20 million vehicles on the road. By December 2017, that figure had risen to 37.7 million, 31.2 million of which were cars.

The number of new cars appearing on the roads is rising by nearly 600,00 a year, and the increase in small businesses has meant that the number of commercial vehicles is on the increase as well. Many roads seem permanently clogged with traffic, and the impact on the economy, the country and its inhabitants is staggering.


According to the INRIX 2017 Global Traffic Scorecard, the UK is in the top 10 most congested of the 38 countries surveyed, and the second most congested in Europe (surprisingly, Moscow is number one). The cost of congestion across the UK – loss of productivity, fuel, pollution, wear and tear etc. – amounts to £37.7 billion a year – £1,168 for every driver.

For the tenth year running, London is the UK’s most congested city, with motorists spending, on average, 74 hours a year stuck in traffic, and a total cost to the city of £9.5 billion a year! Peak hours are the worst, where drivers can spend 23% of their time travelling at less then 5 mph (average walking speed is just over 3 mph, in case you were wondering).

London’s motorists spend 74 hours every year stuck in slow-moving traffic.


The full list list of the most congested UK cities looks like this…

Rank City Peak hours spent in congestion Average congestion rate Total cost per driver  Total cost to the city
1 London 74 13% £2,430 £9.5bn
2 Manchester 39 10% £1,403 £345m
3 Birmingham 36 9% £1,281 £632m
4 Luton 29 11% £1,143 £102m
5 Edinburgh 28 9% £1,155 £309m
6= Bournemouth 27 11% £1,225 £121m
6= Bristol 27 9% £1,028 £225m
8 Newcastle 24 7% £991 £139m
9 Coventry 23 7% £905 £140m
10 Liverpool 20 9% £1,101 £273m


So where are the UK’s most congested roads? (Just in case you want to avoid them.) The top five worst routes in London are…

Rank Road From To Worst peak period Total hours delay
1 A406 A205 Chiswick Roundabout A40 Hangar Lane PM 56
2 A23 Kennington Park Norbury Station PM 50
3 A4200/A4 Russell Square New Fetter Lane AM 47
4 Earls Court Road Kensington High St A308 AM 42
5 A406 Finchley Road Colney Hatch Lane PM 42


And the most congested roads outside of London are as follows…

Rank City Road From To Worst peak period Total hours delay
1 Birmingham A34 Robin Hood Lane A41 PM 44
2 Birmingham A34 A4540 A41 PM 42
3 Leeds A657 A658 Victoria Street PM 40
4 Leeds A638 B6117 A644 PM 36
5 Manchester A56 Northumberland St A6044 PM 33
6 Newcastle A19 A189 A191 PM 33
7 Belfast A1 Bruce St A512 PM 32
8 Manchester A6 A523 B6171 PM 32
9 Birmingham A461 New Road A4123 PM 32
10 Manchester A580/A6 Blackfriars Road Worsley Road PM 30


Of course if this all sounds dreadful, spare thought for Moscow residents, who can look forward to spending 91 hours a year in traffic jams! Founded in the year 1147, Moscow’s ancient radial road system just wasn’t built for the city’s 4-million-plus car, so local residents are used to commutes of anything from 1.4 to 4 hours!

The bustling metropolis of Moscow is the most congested city in Europe.

However nothing compares to the hassle of driving (or, rather, not driving) through Los Angeles, the most congested city on the planet. L.A. motorists can expect an average of 102 hours a year spent on gridlocked highways during peak hours. That’s almost a full working week every year spent looking at the red brake lights of the car in front. Thank heavens for in-car entertainment, eh?

A familar sight for L.A. commuters. No wonder so much research is going into self-driving cars!