City drivers suffering longer jams
Traffic jams in British cities are getting worse, according to a survey.
In the worst-congested cities, evening rush-hour journeys are taking more than 70% longer than they would in free-flowing traffic, the poll by traffic information company TomTom found.
Compared with 2013, congestion in 2014 was worse in 14 of the UK's 17 biggest cities, with Bristol the only destination where jams had eased slightly.
Figures for Sheffield and for Leeds/Bradford were about the same in 2014 as in 2013.
Congestion levels have got worse over the past year in London, Brighton and Hove, Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow and Southampton.
Overall, average journeys in the cities in 2014 took 29% longer than they would in free-flowing traffic - compared with a figure of 27% longer in 2013.
The worst city for jams was Belfast, with average journeys taking 39% longer than in free-flowing traffic, with evening rush-hour journeys taking as much as 82% longer.
London was the next-worst city for hold-ups with average journeys taking 37% longer than in free-flowing traffic and 67% in the evening peak.
Other cities where drivers were particularly badly held up in the evening rush-hour were Manchester (with journeys taking 72% longer), Edinburgh (71% longer) and Brighton and Hove (59% longer).
TomTom said that in 2014 a typical UK city commuter with a 30-minute drive home spent an extra 66 hours stuck in traffic than they would have done on a free-flowing road.
Added to the 63 hours stuck in morning traffic, that amounted to 129 hours wasted in a year.
Worldwide, the worst city was Istanbul, with average journeys taking 58% longer than in free-flowing conditions, rising to as high as 109% in the evening peak.
Mexico City (55% longer on average) was the second-worst world city, followed by Rio de Janeiro (51%).
TomTom Traffic vice-president Ralf-Peter Schaefer said: "Road authorities and local governments can use traffic data to better manage traffic flow and businesses can plan smarter working hours, so their employees avoid travelling during the rush-hour."