London has been named Europe’s most congested city – again

We already knew traffic in London was bad, but it turns out it’s really, really bad. The Big Smoke’s roads have just been declared the most congested in Europe for the third year in a row. Looks like all those new bike lanes are definitely going to be needed.  

In 2023 London drivers spent an average of 99 hours stuck in traffic, according to data from traffic analysts Inrix. The capital’s traffic actually got worse over the past year, with the time spent in gridlock up from 97 hours in 2022. 

London’s congestion was worse than Paris and Mexico City, which came in third and fourth place respectively, both averaging 96 hours of traffic. Only one city in the world had more gridlock than the UK capital, and that was New York, where drivers spent an average of 101 hours stuck on the roads. No wonder New Yorkers are so grumpy. It’s also worth keeping in mind that cities in China and India weren’t included in the study. 

According to the experts, London and other cities are seeing a pre-Covid return to travel numbers, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

Bob Pishue, transportation analyst and author of the report, said: ‘We are seeing travel return to pre-Covid levels. The UK and Europe have seen smaller increases in congestion this year than in other parts of the world which indicates that these countries have found their new travel norms.

‘While London remains most impacted by congestion in the UK, its drop to second suggests that other large global cities have returned to pre-Covid levels of activity. As an indication of strong economic activity, increased congestion can be a positive sign for cities.’

In the rest of the UK, the average driver lost 61 hours to traffic jams in 2023, up from 57 hours in 2022, which tots up to a financial impact of £558 per vehicle. After London, the UK cities with the worst traffic were Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and Wigan.

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