Saturday 11 August 2018

Annual Cost of Congestion in the UK will Rise 63 Percent by 2030 to £21 Billion

The true impact of traffic congestion on quality of life has been revealed by a new poll showing that commuters leave home an average of 13 minutes early every day to allow for jams on Britain’s roads.

A study by polling agency Walnut Unlimited commissioned by The Go-Ahead Group, one of the UK’s leading public transport operators, highlights the level of inconvenience suffered by road users from worsening traffic and slowing speeds.

 During the rush hours his Go North East vehicle will be delayed
 by severe traffic congestion during the 24 mile journey into the
 centre of Newcastle

By building in a 13-minute buffer on every morning journey, commuters are missing out on an hour and five minutes extra sleep a week, or just over 55 hours’ free time annually.

Even with this buffer, many are still late – 40% of road commuters have been late for work over the last six months due to traffic jams, while 18% have been late for a family event. Perhaps the worst suffering are the one in 20 (4%) who admit to being late to a job interview thanks to a traffic jam.

Official figures show that traffic congestion is getting worse, with delays on A roads up by more than 10% since 2014[1]. Last year, the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimated that congestion would cost the British economy more than £300bn by 2030[i].

Martin Dean, MD of Bus Development at The Go-Ahead Group, said: “Traffic congestion causes frustration, anxiety and inconvenience. It hurts Britain’s productivity as well as affecting quality of life.

 Cities such as Oxford have supported the idea of
Park & Ride for many years. A reliable service will
convince travellers to leave their cars at home.

“Public transport can be a part of the solution to that problem – a fully loaded double decker bus can take as many as 75 private cars off the road, easing congestion and improving air quality. Yet unfortunately we’re seeing many local authorities cutting back on funding for local buses as they face a budget squeeze.

“This study shows the true impact traffic jams have on peoples’ lives. It’s in everybody’s interests to get the country moving more quickly.”

Congestion affects those who travel by bus as well as those who drive. Go-Ahead’s research finds that the typical bus passenger hits a tipping point of impatience after 20 minutes, 16 seconds in stationary traffic, prompting them to get off and walk.

Asked what should be done to improve speeds on the roads, 51% of respondents advocated more investment in public transport, while 30% backed workplace incentives to subsidise bus travel. Only one in five (22%) suggested building more roads.

It is a fact that congestion drastically affects pollution so many UK towns and cities are failing miserably to meet pollution targets

A major problem is that many Councils are reluctant to tackle congestion and pollution head-on as they see car restrictions as vote losers. Car drivers are affronted when new bus lanes are introduced as they expect to have the right of unrestricted access to towns and cities.

Councils are desperate to do something so in some cases have targeted buses and coaches on pollution but ignored cars, taxis and delivery vans. In other words they start at the wrong end because they know that bus and coach companies are soft targets.