ABERDEEN has the worst traffic congestion of Scotland’s largest cities, according to new research published today.
Drivers in the city travelled at an average of 12.7mph in rush-hour traffic and suffered average delays of 6.5 minutes compared to off-peak hours.
Traffic in Edinburgh moved little faster, with a peak-hour traffic speed of 13.6mph, although delays averaged less than four minutes.
Dundee drives at an average of 15.5mph, with five-minute hold-ups. Glasgow has the highest average speed, of 16.4mph, and delays of 4.7 minutes.
However, the figures for Scotland’s largest city are thought to be influenced by the inclusion of higher-speed traffic on the M8 and M74 near the city centre.
The figures, compiled between April 2012 and the end of last year, compare to an average peak-hour speed across Britain of 14.4mph. Rush-hour data was compiled from vehicles travelling from 8-9am and 4-6pm, with delays based on a 30-minute commute. Tuesday was the busiest day of the week for every Scottish city apart from Glasgow, which was Friday.
Average speeds outside the rush hour – from 7pm to 8am – were lowest in Edinburgh at 15.7mph, followed by 16.2mph in Aberdeen, 18.7mph in Dundee and 19.5mph in Glasgow.
The figures were based on three billion speed and location readings collected by insurer Direct Line from vehicles travelling a total of more than 20 million miles. The Scottish data was compiled up to three miles from the centre of the cities.
Paul Felton, of Direct Line, said: “It’s interesting to note that while Glasgow has the fastest rush-hour speeds of the four Scottish cities in the study, having a motorway as part of the urban network results in a rush hour that’s only 0.9mph faster than Dundee.”
Neil Greig, the Scotland-based policy and research director of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “For the many long-suffering car commuters in Scotland, this will come as no surprise. It’s also little comfort to know some English cities are worse.
“It will be interesting to see if Edinburgh does any better next year with the trams in place.
“Disappointingly, having two motorways through it does not seem to have helped journey times in Glasgow that much.”
He added: “With overall delays still measured in single figures, public transport still has a long way to go to tempt drivers out of their slow-moving but comfortable four-wheel havens.”
Aberdeen City Council said congestion on the A90 inner ring road would have been a factor in slow traffic speeds, but the trunk route is the responsibilty of the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “The now-complete M74 is bringing significant benefits to drivers around and through Glasgow, with further strategic route enhancements in Scotland’s largest city under construction.
“The Aberdeen western peripheral route, which will shave up to 27 minutes off journey times, is expected to begin construction this year.
“This is in addition to £5 billion of investment earmarked to improve rail infrastructure across Scotland until 2019 which will encourage more drivers to get out of their cars.
“We are also keeping commuters up to date with real-time travel information through Traffic Scotland so they can plan their journey effectively, cutting down on congestion.”