New figures suggest a 3.9% increase in delays for drivers in the UK


According to newly released figures, the average delay on UK motorways and major A roads for drivers have increased by 3.9% to 9.4 seconds per vehicle mile in 2018.

Last year, the average delay on a journey taken on Highways England’s Strategic Road Network (SRN) was 9.4 seconds per vehicle mile in comparison to 9.0 seconds in 2017.

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Delays on UK motorways and major A roads increase. © Copyright Bill Boaden and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

This data comes from the Department for Transport (DfT), who arrived at these figures based on a vehicle travelling at the speed limit.

According to the DfT’s Planning Time Index, on paper, a 60 mile journey on 60mph roads should take one hour with no traffic, however taking into congestion levels from last year, this journey would take 68.4% longer – 0.7% higher than in 2017.

Furthermore, the average speed on the SRN was 59.0mph last year – a decrease of 0.6% compared to the previous year’s 59.4mph.

The SRN showed the average delay to be slightly higher at the end of October when the clocks go back and slightly lower when they go forward in April. There was also a spike in the average delay during March 2018 because of bad weather.

On local A roads, the average delay increased by 0.8% year-on-year to 47.3 seconds per vehicle mile, with the average speed increasing by 1.3% to 24.9mph.

“More congestion means more wasted time and money, which is clearly bad news for drivers, but it may be a case of short-term pain for longer term gain,” said RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes.

There are currently around 38m vehicles registered for use on UK roads.


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