Drivers spend 31 hours in traffic per year

 Drivers spend 31 hours in traffic per year
Motorists are spending an average of 31 hours in traffic a year, at a cost of £1,168.

According to data compiled by traffic information supplier Inrix, drivers spent over an entire day stuck in congestion in 2017, resulting in significant direct and indirect costs.

The direct costs took into consideration wasted fuel and time, while indirect costs covered the knock-on effect of higher freighting fees on the price of household goods.

The RAC has said that while there is no quick fix for solving congestion issues, there are a number of options, including car sharing, that individuals who count driving as a “necessity” should consider to help combat the problem.

They have also urged town planners to focus on maximising vehicle flow in urban areas and said more efforts should be made to offer “reliable alternatives to cars”.

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RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: "There is no silver bullet to sorting out congestion. Ring-fenced funding for improving England's major roads from 2021 should help, but there also needs to be an emphasis placed on providing cheap, practical, reliable alternatives to the car - especially in urban areas.

“In the meantime, urban planners should be looking at how we can maximise vehicle flow - looking at traffic light sequencings, reducing the amount of time roadworks are live on roads and seeing what impact reducing road space for vehicles is having on journey times.

“Employers and individuals can also do their bit by encouraging greater car sharing."

Mr Dennis added many drivers would be happy to use alternative ways of travelling, providing public transport was improved.

He said: "Nearly three-quarters (74%) of motorists we spoke to for the annual Report on Motoring told us that they would find it very difficult to adjust their lifestyle without a car; 63% said that they would use their car less if public transport was better.

“This highlights the uncomfortable truth in the UK - that with few viable transport alternatives outside major cities, having access to a car is simply a necessity for millions of people.”

The data found that London is Europe’s second most congested city, with drivers in the capital facing 73 hours sat in traffic each year at a cost of £2,430.

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London also has the UK’s most congested road – the A406 outer London ring road from Chiswick Roundabout to Hanger Lane.

In 2017 seven UK locations had waiting times up in double figures including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Luton and Manchester – which had the second longest waiting time of 39 hours.

Mr Dennis said: “These figures bring into sharp focus a reality suffered by commuters up and down the UK every year - that in some areas our roads are struggling to cope under the sheer weight of traffic.

“Not only is this bad news for the economy, it's also bad for air quality and indeed drivers' own wellbeing.”

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.