The 25 cities in Europe with the highest traffic congestion

08 September 2015

London is Europe’s most congested city – drivers on average spend 96 hours per year in traffic jams. UK cities feature four times in the top 25 most congested cities in Europe ranking, with in particular the A217 between Rosehill Roundabout and New Kings Road bringing motorists to a frequent standstill.

Every year traffic data supplier Inrix releases its ‘Inrix Traffic Scorecard’. The scorecard maps the level of traffic congestion in various European countries and their major metropolitan areas – in terms of an average number of hours spent in traffic jams. On the basis of the data from Inrix, presents an overview of the top 25 European cities with high levels of congestion.

Top 25 Most Congested Cities in Europe

The UK’s London commuter area tops the list as the traffic jam centre of Europe, the average motorist in London spent 96 hours stuck in traffic last year. London thereby managed to displace Brussels from its first place position as it added 14 extra hours of wasted time on the year previous – the Belgian capital dropping 9 hours of traffic time to a total of 74 hours per motorist per year. The top five is completed by Cologne, Antwerp and Stuttgart with 65, 64 and 64 hours respectively.

Transport for London’s Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport Garrett Emmerson, says: “London’s continued success has made it one of the world’s most popular cities in which to live, work and visit, which also makes it one of the busiest. […] We are seeing unprecedented increases in population and this, combined with strong economic growth and the consequent increase in building and construction, creates more traffic. To tackle this, we need continued, sustained investment to boost capacity and modernise London’s road network.”

UK Cities
The UK’s second busiest region is greater Manchester, where motorists spent an average of 52 hours in traffic. The Merseyside and greater Belfast area come in at number 3 and 4 on the list respective, both regions confronting motorists with an average wait of 37 hours per year. South Nottinghamshire comes in at number 6 with an average 35 hour wait, down 4 hours on the previous year. North Staffordshire completes the top 10 with an average 26 hour wait, up 7 on the previous year.

Most Congested Cities in the UK

Local congestion
The top five busiest individual roads in the UK are also found in the London region, with the 10.37 miles of the A217 between Rosehill Roundabout and New Kings Road on Wednesday morning causing an average of 138.6 hours of congestion per year. The London A215 between Albany Road: Camberwell and Shirley Road: Croydo (9.55 miles) follows with 119.72 hours of congestion. Outside of London the busiest area was in Edinburgh, where the 5.15 miles of A8 between Princes Street and Maybury Road caused a hold up of an average of 49.36 hours per person per year.

Bryan Mistele, President and CEO, INRIX remarks that: “For the third year running, traffic in the UK is up. The strong growth of the UK economy and rise in urban populations have resulted in an increase in the demand for road travel, significantly driving levels of congestion up across the country.”


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