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Gridlock on UK Roads Costs the Country's Economy £4.3 Billion

- Report from INRIX and The Centre for Economics and Business Research Reveals Traffic Congestion Costs U.K. Households Nearly £500 a Year

LONDON, Dec. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- INRIX®, a leading international provider of traffic information and driver services, and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) revealed results of a new report finding traffic congestion costs Britain's economy more than £4.3 billion or approximately £491 per car commuting household.

These costs are a result of the direct impact of traffic on drivers in terms of wasted time and fuelas well as indirect costs to U.K. households resulting from businesses passing these same costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices.

Direct Costs (fuel and time):

  • Fuel: Over £426 million is wasted on fuel alone - that's £52 worth of fuel cost per-car commuter for 8.2 million British commuting drivers
  • Time: Time is money, the average cost of time wasted in gridlock per commuter equates to £331 – that's a total national time cost of £2.7 billion

Indirect Costs (rising cost of goods and services):

  • Household Goods:  19% of traffic during the daily commute is business or freight vehicles and as a result over £1.1 billion indirect costs are passed on to British households each year
  • Per Household: Gridlock costs each Britishhousehold living in urban areas £107 annually due to the increased cost of goods and services passed on by British businesses

"Traffic congestion impacts everything from how long it takes us to get to work and the amount of fuel we consume in our vehicles to the costs of food at the grocery store," said Bryan Mistele, CEO of INRIX. "As the U.K. continues facing times of austerity and high unemployment, the study indicates the efficient movement of people and commerce across our road networks is essential to fostering a healthy, vibrant economy."

Gridlock Costs Soar in the Capital:

Just 33% of London's residents commute to work by car, however 40% of all UK gridlock costs occur in London, with commuting drivers spending 66.1 hours stuck in traffic jams annually. In fact the average Londoner travelling to work by car spends nearly two working weeks in traffic:

  • Per hour the cost of idling in traffic in London is £15.19 compared to the UK national average of £12.51.
  • Individual annual costs per commuting household are highest in London with gridlock costing households around £1003.58 annually in fuel, time and the indirect cost of household goods.
  • In direct costs alone gridlock costs London car-commuters £1.65 billion in gridlock, put into context this means that for every £10 of direct and indirect costs caused by congestion in the UK, approximately £4 occurs in the capital.

The full report, including results for Germany and France can be found at http://www.inrix.com/pdf/Cebr_Economic_Cost_of_Gridlock_Report.pdf

The Economic Costs of Gridlock Report Methodology:

Cebr is an independent economics and business research consultancy established in 1993. It provides forecasts and advice to City institutions, governments and departments, local authorities and numerous blue chip companies throughout Europe. Below is an executive summary of the methodology used by the Cebr when conducting their analysis for the report:

  • The Cebr used INRIX's proprietary data around traffic congestion during peak commuting hours in the EU's designation Large Urban Zones (LUZs) across the UK, France and Germany respectively, to calculate the average annual "wasted hours" per vehicle.
  • The Cebr used its own transport, city and macroeconomic models to calculate and quantify the direct costs from higher fuel consumption and the lost value of workers' time spent in traffic. Direct fuel costs were calculated using fuel price averages for Euro-super 95 (regular unleaded petrol) and were based on an average of monthly fuel price reports from the AA in the UK and European Commission Oil Bulletin for France and Germany. Average fuel consumed per vehicle was assumed to be 0.5 litres per hour for the average medium-sized car.
  • The Cebr calculated the value of 'wasted time' related to the full-time hourly wage that a worker is paid. The value of wasted time to the commuter is estimated to be worth 50% of the hourly national and city wage because a proportion of lost productivity in traffic is assumed to be recovered during the working week.
  • The Cebr used business and commuter time profile data from the 2011 National Travel Survey (NTS) published by the Department for Transport (DfT) and freight statistics from the 2009 Travel in London report published by Transport for London (TfL) which state that approximately 12% of road traffic during AM and PM peaks is business and approximately 6% of traffic is freight.   This data was used to calculate the indirect costs passed on to U.K. households by businesses.  The value of "wasted employee time" is then calculated at 50% of the hourly national and city GDP per worker, because a proportion of lost productivity in traffic is assumed to be recovered during the working week. Of this wasted time the Cebr estimates that 80-90% of direct costs incurred in terms of fuel and employee time are passed on to households. 


INRIX® is a leading traffic intelligence platform delivering smart data and analytics to solve transportation issues worldwide. INRIX crowd sources real-time data from approximately 100 million vehicles and devices to deliver traffic and driving-related insight, as well as sophisticated analytical tools and services, across five industries in 35 countries.

With more than 200 customers and partners including Audi, ADAC, ANWB, BMW, the BBC, Ford Motor Company, the I-95 Coalition, MapQuest, Microsoft, NAVIGON, Nissan, O2, Tele Atlas, Telmap, Toyota and Vodafone, INRIX's real-time traffic information and traffic forecasts help drivers save time every day.

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