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18/10/2017

Traffic jams cost economy £9 billion a year

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Traffic jams on the strategic road network is costing the economy £9 billion a year, according to latest research.

Traffic data specialist Inrix analysed tailbacks on motorways and A-roads between September 2016 and August 2017. It estimated there were more than 1.35 million jams equivalent to almost 3,700 a day.

Using a series of assumptions on the number of people typically on the road for work reasons and petrol use by average vehicles, the company said the tailbacks cost the economy £9 billion in lost time, fuel and extra carbon emissions.

Major causes of traffic jams include fuel spillage, emergency repairs, and vehicle breakdowns.

The single worst jam in the past year occurred on the M5 in Somerset after two lorries collided, spilling diesel on to the carriageway, which then had to be resurfaced. The incident caused a 36-miles tailback at its worst, took 15 hours to clear and cost £2.4 million.

Image credit | Shutterstock

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