Research shows that traffic signal optimisation and smart motorways are proving successful at reducing traffic congestion
London has more traffic hotspots than any other European city analysed in a new report on congestion by INRIX.
The connected car services and transportation analytics company identified 12,776 hotspots in the UK capital and found that time wasted in gridlock at these locations could cost drivers £42 billion over the next 10 years.
Using INRIX Roadway Analytics, a new traffic analysis tool, INRIX analysed more than 200,000 traffic jams to identify and rank 45,662 traffic hotspots in 123 major cities in 19 European countries. The total cost to drivers across Europe could amount to £183.2 billion in time wasted.
The overall ranking was determined by an ‘Impact Factor’, which multiplied the average duration of a traffic jam with its average length and the number of times it occurred in September 2016.
The impact of these hotspots in London was 28 times more than the average city included in the study, and more than the following four cities combined in the European ranking of Rome, Paris, Hamburg, Madrid. Rome is ranked second with 1,684 hotspots and a potential economic cost of congestion £8.4 bn by 2025 and Paris third with 703 hotspots and a potential cost of £8bn.
Overall, the A7 in Hamburg was identified as the the worst traffic hotspot across Europe, followed by the A8 in Stuttgart. Two fifths (40 per cent) of the top ten traffic hotspots are in Germany. Roads in Cologne, Antwerp, Luxembourg City, Paris and Karlsruhe also feature in the European top ten ranking.
“Only by identifying traffic hotspots and analysing their root causes can we effectively combat congestion,” said Graham Cookson, chief economist, INRIX. “Some of the most effective traffic improvement measures have benefited from this approach, like Transport for London’s traffic signal optimisation work, which is reducing delays by 13 per cent and could save drivers £65m a year. The government has taken a similar approach with its Autumn Statement pledge to spend £220m on reducing gridlock at key ‘pinch points’ on the UK’s strategic road network.”
UK-wide, INRIX identified and ranked 20,375 hotspots in 21 cities and the cost to drivers due to time wasted in traffic (calculated using the Department for Transport’s ‘value of time’), amounts to £61.8 billion in the UK by 2025 if congestion levels are not reduced.
The UK’s top ten traffic hotspots all featured on roads in and around London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. INRIX reports that congestion at the worst hotspots on the western portion of the M25 will likely be improved by the planned Smart Motorway All Lane Running programme that will be implemented within the next five years and covers 19 miles between Junctions 10-17.
INRIX Roadway Analytics evaluated the Smart Motorway All Lane Running implementation at Junctions 5-7 on the M25, and found a 52 percent reduction in traffic jams by comparing a year of data before roadworks began with a year of data after the new smart motorway was complete. There were 165 traffic jams a month on average after completion compared to 343 beforehand.
INRIX Roadway Analytics claims to be the first traffic insight tool available in Europe that provides road authorities with quick and easy access to in-depth roadway analysis and visualisations.
Built on INRIX Traffic, which covers 1.4 million miles of road in 24 countries across Europe, the service is designed to help road authorities, transport agencies, city planners and consultancies to reduce cost of daily operations, pinpoint areas that benefit most from road improvements and more accurately measure and report the impact of their investments.
The full set of rankings can be found at www2.inrix.com/traffic-hotspots-research-2016
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