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Traffic congestion in UK cities rises, reports TomTom

The fifth annual Traffic Index from TomTom shows average journeys in 2014 took 29% longer than they would in free-flowing traffic – up from a 27% delay in 2013.

Congestion levels have got worse over the past year in London, Brighton, Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow and Southampton. 

They have also failed to improve in Sheffield and Leeds-Bradford.

The TomTom Traffic Index shows that Belfast is the most congested city in the UK, with journey times 39% slower than free-flow traffic throughout the day – peaking at 82% longer in both the morning and evening rush hours. 

Second is London with journey times 37% slower, rising to 67% in the evening peak.  The Scottish capital Edinburgh is the third most congested city, with travel taking 36% longer on average and 71% longer in the evening rush hour.

Brighton and Hove (34% congestion in 2014 compared to 31% in 2013) moves up from fifth place last year to fourth, whilst Manchester also moves up a place to fifth with congestion increasing from 26% to 32%.  

Dropping two places to sixth is Bristol, with congestion down from 32% to 29%.

“Road authorities and local governments can use traffic data to better manage traffic flow and businesses can plan smarter working hours, so their employees avoid travelling during rush hour,” said Ralf-Peter Schaefer, vice-president, TomTom Traffic.  

“We can also give drivers the real-time traffic information and smart routing they need to avoid clogged roads and get there faster.  Our mission is to help reduce traffic congestion for everyone.” 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.