London, 14th June 2011
The UK is the most gridlocked European country according to the latest traffic study from TomTom, which reveals some of the most congested hotspots in Europe.
A total of 16 UK cities feature in the top 50. London – in spite of a 0.2% decrease in traffic – climbs up the rankings to take third place in the most congested city list, while Edinburgh and Manchester both feature in the top ten.
‘With traffic congestion already costing the UK economy £8bn a year*, it's no great surprise that so many UK cities feature in the European top 50’ said Giles Margerison, Director, UK and Ireland, TomTom Business Solutions
‘For businesses that rely on drivers getting from A to B as quickly as possible, fleet management technology can be used to cut journey times by as much as 15% by automatically routing around congestion’
Brussels is still topping the chart as the most congested European city and congestion in the Belgian Capital is getting worse, showing a 1.2% increase in traffic since 2010.
It's not all bad news however. Six of the continent's most congested cities have significantly reduced traffic since 2010.
Polish city Wroclaw has seen a 2.6% drop, moving it down to fourth place out of 50. Meanwhile, Toulouse in France has reduced congestion by an impressive 1.9%, making it fifth in the rankings with 33% of roads congested in the city.
Where to escape the traffic
In comparison, the German city of Cologne sits at the bottom of the top 50; only 18.9% of its roads are congested. But Germany still features six times in the overall list.
The data shows that you'll have the most stress-free trip in Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Hungary, Ireland or the Czech Republic, each of which has only one city in the top 50.
The most positive change of all has been made by Ireland. While Belfast still sits at number 12, there has been a reduction of 2% in traffic congestion over the last year. And Capital city Dublin has reduced its traffic by a staggering 9.7% since 2010 – although at 24.2%, it's still got some way to go to beat traffic-efficient Cologne.
*CBI report, Tackling Congestion, Driving Growth, CBI, March 2010