Leeds, London and Birmingham rank high for congestion
Published 11 July 2012
Leeds, London and Birmingham are among the most congested cities in Europe, according to research by TomTom.
The satellite navigation company looked at 31 cities across Europe with populations of more than 800,000.
It found drivers in the Leeds-Bradford area face the most clogged rush hour in Britain, with journey times up to 63 per cent longer than normal in morning peak periods and 60 per cent longer in the evening rush-hour.
Overall, congestion in the Leeds-Bradford area slows journey times down by an average of 28 per cent.
Drivers in the area face delays of 36 minutes for every hour they drive in peak periods.
The Leeds-Bradford area has seen a significant increase in congestion in the last year, rising from 19th place in the TomTom index in 2011, to seventh worst in Europe this year.
By comparison, traffic jams delay journeys in London by an average of 27 per cent and up to 50 per cent in the evening rush hour.
TomTom found that drivers in the capital spend up to 74 hours a year sitting in traffic jams.
In Birmingham, drivers spend around 73 hours a year stuck in traffic jams, with congestion delaying drivers by an average of 21 per cent. During peak periods, drivers can be delayed by up to 28 minutes per hour.
The worst days for congestion are Tuesday and Thursday in Leeds-Bradford and Birmingham, while Mondays and Thursdays are worst in London.
The index was compiled using real travel times data captured by vehicles driving the entire European road network and compiled from five trillion anonymous data measurements on TomTom's servers.
Warsaw in Poland was named the most congested city in Europe with journey times up to 89 per cent longer in morning rush-hour and an average of 42 per cent longer at all times.
Nick Cohn, TomTom's Head of Congestion Research said: "It is amazing that Leeds-Bradford has overtaken London in our congestion ranking, with journeys in the area taking up to 63 per cent longer in the morning rush-hour.
"It shows that congestion is not limited to the capital, but is rapidly spreading around the UK's regional cities."