Belfast Telegraph

Belfast drivers spent 190 hours stuck in traffic last year - second worst in UK

Long queues of traffic in Belfast.
Long queues of traffic in Belfast.
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

Drivers in Belfast spent an average of 190 hours stuck in traffic congestion in 2018, a new report has found.

The report, compiled by transportation analytics firm Inrix, reveals Belfast has the second highest amount of time lost per driver in the UK, after London (227).

The study also shows that congestion in Belfast costs £1,400 per driver in lost time.

The UK average was 178 lost hours due to congestion, costing drivers in the UK an average of £1,317 per driver, £7.9billion in total.

Top 10 UK cities in hours lost in congestion:

1. London- 227

2. Belfast- 190

3. Edinburgh- 165

4. Manchester- 156

5. Leicester- 155

6. Hull- 151

7. Bristol- 149

8. Sheffield- 149

9. Nottingham- 149

10. Cardiff- 143

Aine Groogan, from the Northern Ireland Green Party, said congestion in Belfast cost drivers more than just money.

“Many people have experienced the frustration of traffic jams in and out of our towns and cities, particularly at peak commute times," she said.

“However, congestion creates more than just annoyance – it costs money and it impacts on our mental and physical health.

“The study shows that an average of 190 hours spent in congestion costs £1,400 per driver in lost time.

“Congestion causes air pollution which contributes to 550 deaths per year across Northern Ireland from respiratory illnesses.     

“There are too many car parking spaces in Central Belfast and we haven’t invested enough in modern public transport provision."

Ms Groogan said the new Glider system in Belfast has brought an extra 30,000 passengers per week into the public transport system and has reduced traffic by a quarter along the corridors.

She added: “The Green Party is pushing the case for a green transport plan for Belfast which improves the health and well-being of all our citizens.”

Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at Inrix, said: "Congestion costs Brits billions of pounds each year. Unaddressed, it will continue to have serious consequences for national and local economises, businesses and citizens in the years to come.

"In order to avoid traffic congestion becoming a further drain on our economy, it is increasingly obvious that authorities need to adapt.

"With the help of new and innovative intelligent transportation solutions, we can being to tackle mobility issues we face today."

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