The UK has been declared worst country in Europe for congestion, with London alone having more "traffic hotspots" than Rome, Paris and Milan combined. According to traffic experts INRIX, the capital has a total of 12,776 hotspots following analysis of 123 major cities in 19 European countries.
In the UK cities overall, there are more than 20,000 traffic hotspots – determined by the average duration of a traffic jam with its average length and the number of times they occur – a figure way ahead of our European neighbours such as Germany (8,517) Italy (5,069) and France (1,844).
According to the analysis, the worst area of the UK for traffic is the M25 between junctions 15 (M4) and 16 (M40) near Heathrow Airport, followed by the A720W (Edinburgh Bypass) at Dreghorn Barracks in the Scottish capital.
Overall, the 10 worst places for traffic in UK all occur on roads in and around London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. However, despite being declared the worst city for traffic, London's worst hotspot is ranked third overall across Europe, with INRIX declaring the A7 in Hamburg as Europe's worst traffic hotspot, followed by the A8 in Stuttgart.
INRIX said that the cost of these traffic jams for the UK's economy could amount to £61.8bn ($76.8bn) over the next 10 years, based on calculations of value of travel time figures from a Department for Transport-commissioned report.
In London, time wasted by drivers stuck in gridlock could potentially cost the capital £42bn by 2025.
Graham Cookson, Chief Economist, INRIX, said: "Only by identifying traffic hotspots and analysing their root causes can we effectively combat congestion.
"Some of the most effective traffic improvement measures have benefited from this approach, like TfL's traffic signal optimisation work, which is reducing delays by 13% and could save drivers £65m a year. The government has taken a similar approach with its Autumn Statement pledge to spend £220m on reducing gridlock at key 'pinch points' on the UK's strategic road network."
Steve Gooding, RAC foundation director, added to the Evening Standard: "The cost of congestion isn't just measured in pounds and pence.
"There is also a human price to pay, both in terms of missed appointments – anything from job interviews to family gatherings – and the impact of poor air quality."
"It's easy to blame private car drivers but much of the congestion is caused by vans and lorries, taxis and buses – the sort of vehicles without which London really would grind to a halt."