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Edinburgh traffic congestion worsening according to satnav data

Edinburgh traffic congestion worsening according to satnav data

Traffic congestion in the capital is getting worse, with motorists facing more delays in 2014 than in previous years.

After analysing trillions of pieces of data gleaned from motorist's satnav systems, researchers have named Edinburgh as the third most congested city in the UK in 2014, a position it retains from 2013.

The only UK cities with worse traffic jams are Belfast and London and the only other Scottish city included in the survey, Glasgow, comes in at 15th place in the traffic congestion league table.

The city was given an overall 'congestion level' of 36% meaning that commuters are likely to see their journeys delayed by more than a third when compared with how long it would take to travel the same route on traffic free roads. This is up 2% from the previous year.

On Thursday evenings when traffic congestion is greatest in the city, journeys took 71% longer, up 5% from 66% the previous year.

This means that traffic congestion at peak-times in Edinburgh is worse than in second-placed London, where motorists are delayed by 67% in the evenings.

TomTom, the firm behind the analysis, calculates that these figures mean that a typical Edinburgh commuter with a 30 minute commute into town spends 93 hours per year stuck in traffic jams.

But Edinburgh is not alone in failing to tackle congestion.

Congestion levels have got worse over the past year in London, Brighton, Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow and Southampton.

They have also failed to improve in Sheffield and Leeds-Bradford. The only UK city to see a reduction in congestion was Bristol.

Ralf-Peter Schaefer, Vice-President, TomTom Traffic, said: “Road authorities and local governments can use traffic data to better manage traffic flow and businesses can plan smarter working hours, so their employees avoid travelling during rush hour.”

“We can also give drivers the real-time traffic information and smart routing they need to avoid clogged roads and get there faster. Our mission is to help reduce traffic congestion for everyone.”

The congestion figures follow news that Transport for Edinburgh, the company that operates both Edinburgh Trams and Lothian Buses carried an extra six million passengers in 2014, with bus passenger numbers up three million on 2013 and the trams generating three million passengers in its first seven months of operation.

Ally Tibbitt

Transport Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “As a Council we are committed to reducing congestion for those who visit, work and live in the city, and have a number of initiatives and operations in place to help achieve this.

"One of our main objectives is to facilitate an integrated public transport network, encouraging use and reducing the number of journeys people make by car, particularly during rush hour.

“In Edinburgh an increasing number of households choose not to own cars at the same time as an increase in people using sustainable methods of transport to get to work. Therefore I would question the reliability of these figures and would be interested to see the evidence behind them published.”

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Pic: Nigel Wade | CC | https://flic.kr/p/4Cic9h

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