The cost of traffic congestion to UK business has risen by almost £150 million in the past year, according to new research.
Latest figures revealed as part of the TomTom Traffic Index reveal congestion is costing UK businesses approximately £915 million a year in lost productivity, up from £767 million in last year’s study.
Traffic across the UK’s 25 most congested cities and towns increases the time each vehicle spends on the road by an average of 129 hours a year, which means an average commercial vehicle driver wastes more than 16 working days while sat in traffic.
To compound the situation, traffic has been getting continuously worse since 2010, with an average journey now taking 30 per cent longer than it would in free-flowing conditions, up from 25 per cent.
“Traffic remains a serious issue for business and the resulting delays have potential implications for productivity, customer service standards and even employee wellbeing,” said Beverley Wise, Director UK & Ireland for TomTom Telematics. “Unfortunately, congestion levels continue to rise and the UK economy is paying the price for this at a time when the landscape is already challenging enough, with the growth rate now expected to be just 1.5 per cent this year.
“But, although solutions to the wider traffic problem are incredibly complex, businesses can take action now to mitigate its effect by using data to develop smarter working schedules and shift patterns that help employees avoid driving at peak times. Technology such as telematics can help in the move towards a more dynamic model of routing and scheduling that uses data on traffic and journey times to develop plans that minimise time on the road and can be quickly adapted in reaction to delays or changing circumstances.”
The biggest financial hit was felt in London, where £264 million is lost to traffic each year, followed by Manchester and the Birmingham area, including Wolverhampton.