Aberdeen is worst in Scotland for rush-hour traffic jams

Traffic flow in Scotland's major cities has improved over the past year but drivers across the UK waste an average of 31 hours a year stuck in gridlock, new research has found.
Peak hour congestion eased across Scotland's major cities last year. Picture: TSPLPeak hour congestion eased across Scotland's major cities last year. Picture: TSPL
Peak hour congestion eased across Scotland's major cities last year. Picture: TSPL

Aberdeen remains one of the worst in the UK for rush hour congestion, according to the study, which shows Edinburgh has the lion’s share of the busiest roads in Scotland.

Drivers in the city spent an average of 28 hours stuck in traffic during peak times last year, the worst in Scotland and the tenth worst in the UK.

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The congestion cost the typical motorist in the Granite City £1,422, according to the traffic information supplier, INRIX, who compiled the study.

This takes into account direct costs such as wasted fuel and time as well as indirect consequences including higher prices for household goods due to increased freighting fees being passed on to consumers.

However, the delays experienced by Aberdeen drivers represented a 20 per cent improvement on the previous year, part of a trend which saw Glasgow and Edinburgh reduce peak hour congestion by 15 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. Drivers in the capital spent an average 28 hours in peak hour traffic last year, with the figure falling to 23 hours in Glasgow.

The study found that Scotland’s most congested road was the A82 at Great Western Road in Glasgow, where during the morning rush hour, motorists were reduced to crawling at an average speed of 13.6 miles per hour.

The evening rush hour, however, saw even worse traffic jams, which the average speed falling further to just 12.3 miles per hour.

Edinburgh was home to the second, third, and fourth most congested roads in the form of the A902, A7 and A700.

INRIX chief economist Dr Graham Cookson said the improvements in journey times in Scotland were down to “the combination of new roads” and an end to major roadworks.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf said he was “pleased” by the improvements in traffic flow and pointed out that the Scottish Government was committed to the “largest road investment programme” the country hs ever seen.

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The INRIX study, the largest of its kind, showed that across the UK, drivers wasted an average of 31 hours stuck in rush hour traffic.

The UK was the world’s tenth most congested country, costing the typical motorist £1,168.

Worst for jams was London, Europe’s second most congested location after Moscow, with drivers spending an average of 74 hours in gridlock last year, up one hour on 2016.

Dr Cookson said: “The cost of congestion is astonishing. It takes billions out of the economy and impacts businesses and individuals.”

Calling for for innovative approaches to deal with the growing number of cars on the road, he added: “Increased flexible working or road charges have potential, however transport authorities should be looking to exciting developments in data analytics and artificial intelligence which promise to reinvent our approach to traffic management.”

Los Angeles topped the list of the world’s most gridlocked cities, with drivers spending on average 102 peak hours in congestion in 2017, followed by Moscow and New York, where the figure was 91 hours.