London 'world's slowest and second-most expensive city for driving'

Strike action caused traffic congestion in UK capital to soar last year, research shows

Traffic on the A13 motorway in London. PA
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London is the world’s slowest and second-most expensive city to drive in, research has found.

Geolocation technology specialist TomTom said it took an average of 36 minutes and 20 seconds to travel 10 kilometres in the centre of the UK capital in 2022.

Research shows travel in the capital took longer than in 2021. It was one minutes and 50 seconds slower than the year before and represents the longest time for a journey of that distance last year of all the 389 cities in 56 countries analysed.

TomTom traffic expert Andy Marchant said people switching to road transport during rail strikes contributed to congestion in London last year.

India’s Bengaluru had the second slowest time at 29 minutes and 10 seconds, followed by Dublin, Ireland (28 minutes and 30 seconds) and Sapporo, Japan (27 minutes and 40 seconds).

Other UK cities ranked in the top 50 for congestion were Manchester (24th place with 23 minutes and 10 seconds), Liverpool (32nd place with 22 minutes and 20 seconds) and Edinburgh (42nd place with 21 minutes and 30 seconds).

Analysis of the cost of driving – based on the price of petrol, diesel and charging an electric vehicle, and taking into account the effect of congestion on fuel use – found that London was the world’s second-most expensive city to drive in last year, behind only Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was the most expensive city in the world to drive in last year, new research shows. EPA

Also in the top 50 list was Bristol (19th), Brighton (41st), Manchester (47th) and Edinburgh (48th).

TomTom found that the cost of using fast EV charge points in London was among the highest in the world last year.

To drive 16,000km in London in 2022, residents charging their cars in this way spent about £2,055 ($2,503), compared with £1,969 in Paris, £1,888 in Brussels, £1,794 in Berlin and £1,220 in New York.

“Due to the configuration of the road network in central London, travel times even without traffic are some of the highest in the world," Mr Marchant said.

“This doesn’t mean that London is the most congested city in the world.

“However, there is a clear link between increased traffic congestion and London’s slowest average speed in 2022.

“While strike action caused traffic congestion levels to soar, better traffic management based on real-time data intelligence is needed throughout the year to ensure viable traffic flows and the efficient use of city infrastructure.”

Updated: February 15, 2023, 12:01 AM