UK roads 'most congested in Europe'

The UK has some of the most congested roads in Europe, with four of its cities featuring in the top 13 busiest urban areas, a poll reveals.

In a list of the 59 most-congested European towns and cities, London was in fourth place, Edinburgh fifth, Belfast eighth and Birmingham 13th.

No other country had more than two cities in the top 13 and only Italy and Poland had as many as three in the top 20, making the UK by-far the worse country for gridlocked roads, the survey by sat-nav company TomTom found.

Based on TomTom-monitored speeds, the most congested city was Brussels, followed by the Polish cities of Warsaw and Wroclaw.

Cardiff was in 26th place, with Leeds 29th, Sheffield 34th and Glasgow 45th. In the Republic of Ireland, Dublin was sixth in the list.

Britons looking for quieter roads abroad might consider France. Although Marseilles was in eighth place and Paris ninth, no other French cities were on the list.

No German city was higher than Munich in 28th place, but there were 11 more German cities in the list, including Hamburg, Stuttgart and Berlin.

The least congested city in the list was Zaragoza in Spain.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said roadworks were one of the main causes of congestion, with there being an estimated 370,000 of them in London during 2009.

He added that London Mayor Boris Johnson "must now show" how his roadworks permit system "can make a real difference".

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