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Congestion getting worse in UK, according to TomTom

Increasingly busy roads are causing motorists to spend even longer in traffic in most major UK cities. 11 out of the 17 biggest cities in the UK were found to be busier than ever, with only Edinburgh, Nottingham and Leeds-Bradford registering a decrease in congestion levels, TomTom’s traffic Index Q2 2013 found.

Belfast, Brighton, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Newcastle and Sheffield all saw an increase over the last 12 months, with Belfast coming out as the UK’s number one congestion hotspot. Bristol and Brighton came in second and third place, respectively.

Birmingham, Bristol and Glasgow were found to be just as congested as before.

The TomTom data revealed a journey in Belfast takes up to 88 per cent longer during the morning peak times and 32 per cent longer ​throughout the rest of the day than during off-peak, non-congested periods. A journey takes 66 per cent longer at evening peak times for Bristol residents, with Brighton’s rush-hour taking 45 per cent longer.

“We are seeing a clear pattern which shows that congestion levels increase as economies emerge from recession,” TomTom’s Chief Executive Officer, Harold Goddijn explained. “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 average UK journey time increase during morning and evening rush hours was found to be an average of 23 per cent, meaning getting stuck at a peak time could make your journey take more than a 5th longer than usual.

Moscow was found to be the world’s most congested city, with Turkey’s Istanbul and Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro taking the silver and bronze medals, respectively. The evening peak journey time in Moscow is a whopping additional 133 per cent more than at off-peak times.

TomTom’s report looks at more than nine million data points. It started its Traffic Index imitative in 2007.

Source: TomTom

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