UK cities among clearest

A report by navigation specialists TomTom has revealed that the UK’s major cities are not as congested as their European counterparts.

Turkey’s cosmopolitan capital Istanbul tops a list of Europe’s most congested cities while Britain’s metropolises barely scrape the top twenty. Istanbul has the most congested streets in Europe while the urban streets of Poland, France and Italy feature strongly on the most continent’s most congested cities. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is the second most congested city in Europe. Marseille, on France’s south coast comes in at third place, with Palermo, on the island of Sicily, at fourth. The top ten most congested cities unsurprisingly includes Paris and Rome and Germany’s industrial heartlands Hamburg and Stuttgart.

TomTom monitors millions of traffic journeys to compare the percentage change between non-peak traffic and rush hour to compile a list of the most congested cities in Europe.

The UK

It is thought that the recent growth in petrol prices and congestion are helping to cut the number of drivers in many UK cities. In fact, there are only two cities – Leeds/Bradford and London to feature in the top 20. Nine cities appear in the top 60 and include Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle/Sunderland, Nottingham and Glasgow.

A spokesman for TomTom said:

“Whilst cold, ice and snow were an important cause of extra congestion in the UK in the first quarter of the year, rainstorms played a major role in April, May and June. April to June were some of the wettest months on record.  This has a major influence on road speeds. We also saw some major construction projects causing traffic delays, such as the development of New Street rail station in Birmingham and the temporary closure of Liverpool Central station.  Other recurring causes include insufficient road capacity compared to demand, and ineffective management of that road capacity.”

The survey was carried out over the first half of 2012.

Top Cities for Congestion % busier at peak times than during non-peak times:

  1. Istanbul (Turkey) – 57%
  2. Warsaw (Poland) – 45%
  3. Marseille (France) – 40%
  4. Palermo (Italy) – 40%
  5. Rome (Italy) – 34%
  6. Paris (France) – 34%
  7. Stuttgart (Germany) – 33%
  8. Brussels (Belgium) – 32%
  9. Hamburg (Germany) – 32%
  10. Stockholm (Sweden) – 30%

Top UK Cities for Congestion

  1. Leeds/Bradford – 27%
  2. London – 26%
  3. Nottingham – 24%
  4. Manchester – 22%
  5. Birmingham – 20%
  6. Sheffield – 20%
  7. Newcastle-Sunderland – 20%
  8. Liverpool – 20%
  9. Glasgow – 17%
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