London topped the global list for congestion according to analysis of the world’s traffic levels, becoming the first city to surpass 100 hours wasted per driver in gridlock.
With 101 hours, or four days, on average stuck in jams, London beat other cities around the world to top spot according to the INRIX Traffic Scorecard.
The result was attributed to string economic growth and record population levels and London remained Europe’s gridlock capital for the second year in a row.
Congestion was up slightly in 11 of the 18 UK metropolitan areas in 2015, compared with 14 in 2014. The biggest increase outside of London was in Belfast, where drivers sat idle for 38 hours, impacted by roadworks on the M2 as a result of a road improvement scheme. Birmingham experienced the biggest decline in traffic delays, with a decrease of 2.5 hours annually, which could be attributed to the completion of roadworks on the M6 and redevelopment projects in the city centre.
Nationally, UK drivers spent 30 hours on average in delays last year, consistent with 2014, but dropped to sixth in the European ranking as a result of Switzerland seeing a rise in traffic levels. Belgium remained Europe’s most gridlocked country, with drivers stuck in traffic for 44 hours on average.
“London is the victim of its own success, with a robust jobs market and a growing economy attracting more people, more construction and consequently more traffic,” said Bryan Mistele, president & CEO, INRIX. “Transport for London is tackling this problem with its £4bn Road Modernisation Plan. Whilst in the short term the roadworks from this initiative are frustrating for drivers, they are a step towards creating a more sustainable and modernised transport network.”
Global jams: Top ten cities
London (101 hours)
Los Angeles (81 hours)
Washington D.C. (75 hours)
San Francisco (75 hours)
Houston (74 hours)
New York (73 hours)
Stuttgart (73 hours)
Antwerp (71 hours)
Cologne (71 hours)
Brussels (70 hours)