Commuters crawling to a standstill as city speeds fall

Commuters crawling to a standstill as city speeds fall
Commuters crawling to a standstill as city speeds fall

If it feels like your daily commute is taking longer and longer it’s probably because it is.

New data shows that average driving speeds in many of Britain’s major cities are falling, adding time and frustration to the daily slog to and from work.

In London, Glasgow and Manchester average speeds within a mile of the city centres have dropped by more than 1mph since last year.

Speeds in the capital are the worst in the country at just 5.13mph within a mile of the centre and 8.34 within five miles but other major cities are almost as bad. Edinburgh motorists achieve an average of just 6.64mph within a mile of the centre and just 12.38 within five miles, and those in Glasgow and Manchester also plod along at an average well below 7mph.

The latest Department for Transport figures show that traffic volumes across the country rose 1.7 per cent between April 2016 and March 2017 to a total of 324.3 billion miles. With such rises it’s perhaps unsurprising that journeys are taking longer for the estimated two-thirds of use who commute on a daily basis.

The figures were revealed by analysing data from 400,000 journeys gathered over three months by telematics firm In-Car Cleverness. Its head of sales, Paul O’Dowd, commented: “The figures paint a stark picture of how everyday commuters, drivers and even businesses are struggling to get around or operate in some of the biggest hubs in the UK.

“It is likely down to a few factors. Overall traffic volumes are higher and this increase will be most noticeable in urban areas. As well as more traffic on the roads, major cities are increasingly introducing tighter speed restrictions while adopting more bus lanes, as well as cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.”

How city centre speeds are changing

Within 1 mile of centre
2016 2017
City Average (mph) Average (mph) Difference (mph)
London 6.35 5.13 -1.22
Manchester 8.14 6.57 -1.57
Edinburgh 6.89 6.64 -0.25
Glasgow 8.56 6.82 -1.74
Liverpool 8.10 7.34 -0.76
Bristol 8.69  7.73  -0.96
Birmingham  9.03 8.90  -0.13
Bradford 9.48 10.08 0.61
Sheffield 11.04 10.44 -0.59
Leeds 11.58 11.25 -0.33

Within 5 miles of centre

2016 2017
City Average (mph) Average (mph) Difference (mph)
London 9.58 8.34 -1.24
Manchester 12.41 12.15 -0.26
Edinburgh 12.74 12.38 -0.36
Birmingham 13.66 12.50 -1.15
Bristol 12.87 12.82 -0.05
Bradford 12.77 12.89  0.12
Liverpool 13.00 13.12 0.12
Sheffield 13.44 13.28 -0.16
Leeds 14.67 15.20 0.53
Glasgow 15.14 15.79 0.65

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