IF YOU ever get the feeling that Britain’s streets and highways are awash with roadworks, temporary traffic lights and contraflows, the bad news is that you’re right. More of our roads are being dug up now than at any point in the past decade, making the UK the third most congested country in the world.
The information comes from Inrix, a real-time traffic information provider, which says that only Belgium and Holland are more congested. British drivers waste nearly 30 hours a year stuck in traffic.
By taking journey data from smartphones and sat-nav systems, Inrix calculates how much time is being added to journeys by congestion and has come up with a list of the 10 most gridlocked roads in the UK. If you’re planning a journey that passes through one of these areas, have a detour at the ready – or some good in-car entertainment.
Britain’s roadworks hotspots
- Coventry: A45/A46 junction, Tollbar Island
- Worcestershire: M5 junction 4 Lydiate Ash
- Derby/Nottinghamshire: M1 between J29 Alfreton and J31 Worksop
- Derby: Markeaton Island
- Northamptonshire: A14 between J7 and J9 Kettering
- Cardiff: A4232 and M4 J33
- Essex: M25 between J27 M11 and J25 Enfield
- Shropshire/Shrewsbury: A5 Preston Island and Emstrey Island
- Blaenau Gwent: Tredegar A465 (Heads of the Valleys Road)
- Nottingham: A453 between M1 J24 and Clifton
It isn’t just roadworks that cause delays on everyday commuter routes. Inrix has also compiled a list of some of the busiest corridors in the UK.
Worst of the lot was the M6 near Birmingham, between junctions 10 and 7. It caused the most delays to journeys last year, with an average of 36 minutes added to trips at peak times.
Following closely behind was part of the A51 leading to Chester’s city centre, with a typical peak delay of 19 minutes over a 4.5-mile stretch of road.
Car makers, aware that drivers are spending more and more time in tailbacks, are introducing features to take the strain out of stop-start traffic. The new Volkswagen Passat, Volvo’s coming XC90 and the new Mercedes-Benz S-class all have autonomous driving systems.