Londoners are so smug. Rightly so: our city is home to some of the best food, nightlife and American candy shops in the world. But if there’s one thing ready and waiting to come and knock us off our high horse, tumbling down into the gutter with the rest of the frankly sub-par cities of the earth, it’s our congested roads. Now, London’s traffic has been ranked as the worst in the whole world for a second year in a row. And our roads are getting worse every year.
According to Inrix, drivers spend more time stuck on gridlocked streets in London than in any other city on the planet. In 2022, our road hogs lost a whopping 156 hours each to congestion. (Up from 148 hours in 2021, and 5 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels.) And spending hours stuck behind the wheel has taken a toll on our bank accounts and businesses too, with the average cost of congestion being £1,377 per driver over the year – a major increase from £980 in 2021.
Inrix’s Global Traffic Scorecard takes into account the unique commuting patterns of each city, measuring collision trends, travel delays and average last-mile speeds. In the survey of congestion in more than 1,000 cities in 50 countries, London came top (bottom?), ahead of Chicago, Paris, Boston and Bogota. Within the UK, London was by far the worst city, with Bristol second and Manchester, Birmingham and Belfast following.
So, plenty of scope there for the capital to do A LOT better on its roads. Still, if England can’t ever win the World Cup, at least we’re topping the global leaderboard at something.