And the congestion capital of the UK is...
Filed under: Motoring
UK drivers spend 86 hours a year stuck in this region's jams, compared to 74 hours in London. A delay of 36 minutes for every hour spent driving at peak periods. Then there's Brum...
Motoring advice & info
Birmingham comes second - even ahead of London - after Leeds-Bradford with drivers spending around 73 hours a year in traffic snarl-ups. Bad days for driving in Birmingham, Leeds and Bradford are Tuesdays and Thursdays while London's congestion is worse on Mondays and Thursdays, TomTom claims.
Tom Tom claims its research puts Birmingham further ahead then other cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Overall, London's congestion charge has been thought generally effective. Since its introduction, bus use in London has increased more than 50% and there has been a huge rise in cycling.
Motoring advice & info
There's also been a sharp rise in car sales in the smaller, tax congestion beating VED Band A. Cars in this tax category emit less than 100g/km of CO2; low emissions generally means higher miles per gallon.
Stop, startInnovations like engine stop/start technology are also helping keep emissions down and miles per gallon up, plus low rolling resistance tyres and lowered ride-height to cheat wind resistance.
As to the future, it's also possible that integrating congestion charging with an Oyster Card could be possible (longer term, it's only a matter of time before road pricing is introduced across the whole of the Capital).
There's a rather large fly in the ointment though: more than £170m is now owed from drivers not stumping up the London congestion tax. Transport for London (TfL) said in 2011-12, drivers of 33,684 vehicles did not pay - though this is down from 52,103 in the previous year. That's a lot of bailiff threats work for Boris Johnson and TfL.
Olympic prepOn a European level, TomTom says Munich, Berlin, Marseille and Vienna all saw increased levels of congestion. However Lisbon, Bern, Amsterdam, Milan and Rome all experienced a reduction in congestion levels.
Down south, things aren't looking so good this week due to a key section of the M4 near London being closed to repair cracks in a major section of overhead motorway between junctions two and three in time for the Olympics. It's though 100,000 motorists are facing extra delays.