4.4bn: The price of urban gridlock

4.4bn: The price of urban gridlock

Traffic congestion in heavily populated regions costs car-commuting families a total £4.4 billion each year, according to a new study.

London gridlock alone accounts for £2 billion of the overall yearly extra costs, it found.

The report by traffic information firm Inrix and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) was made by analysing queues in the UK's 18 biggest urban areas.

It showed a typical British motorist spends 40 hours a year stuck in jams, which can lead to both overheated tempers and engines, potentially resulting in mechanicalbreakdown .

The average for London drivers is as high as twice this amount.

The direct cost of wasted fuel (£441 million); the direct cost of commuter time wasted in queues (£2.79 billion) and the indirect cost to family bills (£1.19 billion) were all included in the total cost figure.

The report's other urban areas included Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford-Leeds, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Kingston-upon-Hull, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent accounted for the other places.

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