Belfast Telegraph

Belfast the home of worst traffic jams in UK: survey

By Peter Woodman

Belfast now has the worst traffic jams in the UK, according to a survey.

A poll from traffic information company TomTom also found that across the UK, drivers taking "rat-run" short cuts could actually be making their journeys slower.

And congestion at the busiest times on local roads is twice as bad as on main highways, the poll found.

It also revealed that traffic congestion in cities across the UK has got significantly worse over the past year.

Average journeys in 2013 took 27% longer than they would in free-flowing traffic – up from a figure of 26% in 2012.

Belfast was the most congested city, with the worst periods 36% more congested than the free-flowing ones.

London and Edinburgh were the next worst-congested cities, followed by Bristol, Brighton, Manchester, Leeds-Bradford and Sheffield. Of the 17 biggest cities, only two were less jammed in 2013 than in 2012, with congestion worsening in 10 and staying the same in the other five.

The biggest increases in congestion were in Sheffield and Leicester.

TomTom said commuters were now spending 10 working days a year stuck in traffic compared with nine days a year ago.

The company also released world-city figures, which showed Moscow was the most-congested destination, followed by Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro.

TomTom chief executive Harold Goddijn said: "Traffic congestion is nothing new, and continues to be a global challenge."

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