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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

UK’s most congested cities revealed


The most congested cities in the UK have been revealed with some drivers spending almost 40 minutes to travel just six miles.


London drivers experience the worst congestion in the world - travelling at an average of just 8 mph during rush hour.

Motorists in the North West experience the second and third worst congestion in the UK, as Manchester and Liverpool have an average travel speed of 13 mph and 14 mph respectively, during peak times.

Edinburgh makes the top five of the worst congested cities, taking on average 21.3 minutes to drive six miles.

Drivers in the East Midlands also experience long wait times sitting in traffic, as Nottingham and Leicester make the top 10 list also.

Cardiff and Bournemouth rank at the ninth and tenth worst congested cities in the country, with an average speed of less than 20 mph during rush hour.

Sheffield and Bristol also have some of the most jam-packed roads in the UK, with drivers there spending 20 minutes making 6 miles of progress during peak travel times.

The ten most congested cities in order:




A spokesperson said: “It’s unsurprising to see the capital city at the top of the league table - with Londoners travelling at an average of 8 miles an hour at rush hour.

“This would mean that it would take approximately two hours for someone commuting from Richmond in west London to drive the 16 miles to work at Canary Wharf in the east.

“Of the top 10, it’s only drivers in Nottingham, Leicester, Cardiff and Bournemouth who can make a six mile journey in less than 20 minutes.

“For motorists in the most congested cities of Sheffield, Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester and London the journey will take 20 minutes or more.

“Drivers are experiencing slow moving traffic every day - with an average speed of only 14.5 mph during rush hour across the UK as a whole.

“And many motorists are spending over an hour doing their daily commute because of how congested our city's roads have become.

“This is frustratingly slow and none of us particularly enjoy spending longer than we already do sitting in our cars while we miss out on things we would rather be doing.

“But it is surprising not to see some of the UK’s biggest cities on the list - Bournemouth ranking above Birmingham is surprising when you consider the reputation our second city has for congestion.

“What we might be seeing is the result of differing levels of investment into improving roads and public transport from city to city.

“As we try to meet targets on pollution and emissions, the UK needs more investment to help traffic to flow more freely.

“This might involve reviewing plans to introduce congestion charges for motorists in these cities - as several of them have recently cancelled plans to do so.

“More funding into improving roads and public transport systems to tackle congestion should be a top priority for the UK.”

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