Leeds-Bradford, London and Birmingham Amongst Most Congested Cities in Europe

Jul 10 2012

Leeds-Bradford, London and Birmingham Amongst Most Congested Cities in Europe

~ TomTom launches quarterly Congestion Index to identify and address congestion hot spots across Europe ~

London, July 10 2012 – Drivers in Yorkshire face the most clogged rush-hour roads, according to a new report published today. A study into traffic times across Europe by satellite navigation firm TomTom found the Leeds-Bradford area is the most congested in Britain.

Drivers in the Yorkshire conurbation spend an astonishing 86 hours a year stuck in traffic jams. They endure journey times up to 63 per cent longer than normal in morning peak periods and 60 per cent longer in the evening rush-hour.

Overall, congestion in the Leeds-Bradford area slows journey times down by an average of 28 per cent.

That's longer than in London, where traffic jams delay journeys by an average of 27 per cent and up to 50 per cent in the evening rush-hour. Drivers in the capital spend 74 hours a year stuck in traffic jams.

The TomTom Congestion Index looked at 31 cities across Europe with populations of more than 800,000. The report can be downloaded here: http://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/congestionindex/

The two Yorkshire areas have suffered a five per cent increase in congestion since last year, the biggest of anywhere in Europe. Drivers there face a delay of 36 minutes for every hour they drive in peak periods.

Leeds-Bradford has risen to seventh in a table of most traffic clogged cities across Europe, up from 19th in 2011.

Drivers in Birmingham spend 73 hours a year stuck in traffic jams. Traffic in the West Midlands city is delayed by an average of 21 per cent because of congestion with delays of up to 28 minutes per hour during peak periods.

Birmingham has risen from 23rd in the TomTom congestion ranking last year to 19th in 2012.

The worst days for congestion are Tuesday and Thursday in Leeds-Bradford and Birmingham, while Mondays and Thursdays are worst in London.

Warsaw in Poland was named the most congested city in Europe with journey times up to 89 per cent longer in morning rush-hour and an average of 42 per cent longer at all times.

The index is based on real travel times data captured by vehicles driving the entire European road network and compiled from five trillion anonymous data measurements on TomTom's servers.

The overall congestion level for all cities analysed in Europe is 24 per cent - meaning peak journeys are a quarter slower than when traffic is flowing freely.

Nick Cohn, TomTom's Head of Congestion Research said: "It is amazing that Leeds-Bradford has overtaken London in our congestion ranking, with journeys in the area taking up to 63 per cent longer in the morning rush-hour.

"It shows that congestion is not limited to the capital, but is rapidly spreading around the UK's regional cities."

Harold Goddijn, chief executive officer of TomTom, added: “Over the years, with the help of our customers, we have built the largest and most accurate database of travel times in the world.

“When we combine this travel database with our detailed real-time traffic information and routing technology, we can pin point congestion, but also guide drivers away from congested areas onto faster routes.

“Even when only a percentage of drivers use a different and faster route, the available capacity on the entire road network increases, which benefits all drivers”.

Notes to Editors

About the TomTom Congestion Index

The methodology used in the Congestion Index compares travel times during non-congested periods (free flow) with travel times in peak hours. The difference is expressed as a percentage increase in travel time. The Index takes into account local roads, arterials, as well as highways. All data is based on actual GPS based measurements.

A comparison is made for the travel times during the quarter and this is compared with the same period a year ago.

As well as assigning and ranking the overall congestion levels of over 31 European cities, the report analyses the congestion levels in cities at different times of the day and on different days of the week. TomTom analysed capital cities as well as cities with a population of over 800,000.

Individual city reports include more detailed information such as the most congested day, average free flow speed, time delay per year for commuters and congestion levels on main and secondary roads.

A separate North American Congestion Index report is also available.

To download the European or North American Congestion Index report go to www.tomtom.com/congestionindex .

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