Cost of congestion shows need to enable local leaders to tackle the issue

Published: 12 Feb 2019



A traffic jam in Manchester

New figures show that road congestion cost the UK economy £8billion last year – highlighting the need for local solutions to tackle the issue, as recommended in the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment.

The study by transport data firm Inrix shows that the average road user in London lost up to £1,680 last year due to jams, followed by Edinburgh, whose average road user lost £1,219; Manchester, whose average road user lost £1,157; and Leicester, whose average road user lost £1,145.

London is also named as the sixth most congested city in the world, once population is taken into account.

The new figures follow proposals in the National Infrastructure Assessment for funding and powers to be devolved to city leaders, so they can develop long-term strategies to improve local transport while also delivering new homes and job opportunities.

The National Infrastructure Commission is planning a series of events across the country, so city leaders can come together to share knowledge and expertise. The Commission is also working with five ‘case study’ cities – the Liverpool City Region, West Yorkshire Combined Authority including Leeds and Bradford, Derby, Basildon and Exeter – as they develop their long-term strategies.

Commenting on the latest figures, a spokesperson for the National Infrastructure Commission said:

“Today’s figures clearly show the considerable impact that traffic congestion can have on local areas, and on the UK economy as a whole – but the solution needs to be found in City Halls, not Whitehall.

“Our National Infrastructure Assessment – the first of its kind for the UK – includes recommendations to give city leaders new powers and £43billion additional funding between now and 2040 to develop and implement long-term strategies to tackle the issue, while also delivering job opportunities and much-needed new homes.”

Notes to Editors:

Details of the recommendations from the National Infrastructure Assessment can be found here

Share this article


Recent Articles

We’re recruiting: Policy adviser (energy)
Wind turbine being built

We’re recruiting: Policy adviser (energy)

Are you a creative and analytical thinker, someone who can work flexibly and collaboratively on complex policy issues and build productive working relationships with stakeholders across government and industry as well as with colleagues? Are you interested in helping shape policy on the country’s long term shift from a reliance on fossil fuels towards a...

30 May 2024 By
The pre-election period: 25 May – 4 July 2024
Houses of Parliament

The pre-election period: 25 May – 4 July 2024

In the run-up to the UK General Election, the Commission – like other public sector bodies – is required to act in accordance with the 2024 General Election guidance. The Commission offers independent advice to the government of the day, and it is not appropriate for it to engage in discussion of government policy during...

25 May 2024 By
Principles before particulars secures project success, say NIC design experts

Principles before particulars secures project success, say NIC design experts

The National Infrastructure Commission’s Design Group has published guidance on developing and implementing design principles for major infrastructure projects. Building on the Group’s high level design principles – climate, people, places and value – the new guidance sets out a structured process for applying tailored principles at every stage of a project life cycle. The...

21 May 2024 By

Evidence_Icon_Turquoise Created with Sketch.

Explore data used in the Commission's research, and gain insights from across UK infrastructure

Join our team of professionals supporting the Commission to provide evidence based and forward thinking advice on infrastructure strategy.