An annual study of traffic congestion around the world has once again confirmed what opponents of segregated cycling infrastructure don’t seem to understand – that London’s most congested roads aren’t ones where Cycle Superhighways have been built.
Indeed, one new entry from the capital to the list of the UK’s 15 most congested roads illustrates the point perfectly – running as it does from Canary Wharf to Tower Bridge via The Highway.
Canary Wharf, of course, is home to the eponymous property group that owns the land on which that the financial district on the Isle of Dogs is built, and which has been one of the most vociferous opponents of the East-West Cycle Superhighway.
That route has its easternmost point at Tower Bridge, running along the Embankment towards Westminster and then Hyde Park, but despite what critics of the infrastructure might have you believe, it doesn’t make the top five most congested roads in London.
Officially designated Cycle Superhighway 3, that route continues east as a non-segregated cycle lane not along The Highway, but on the parallel Cable Street to the north – providing further evidence that the blame for congestion certainly doesn’t lie with cyclists.
The research carried out by traffic data firm INRIX, found that London is the sixth most congested city worldwide, and ranks second behind Moscow in Europe.
As we pointed out on our Live Blog this morning, the data from the INRIX 2018 Traffic Scorecard also highlighted that in a number of UK cities, the quickest way of getting about is by bicycle, with last-mile traffic speed in London, for example, running at just 7 miles per hour.
Birmingham once again followed London as the UK’s second most congested city in 2018, with Glasgow in third place and Manchester and Bristol rounding out the top five. In sixth place was Edinburgh, then Sheffield, Leicester, Leeds and Liverpool.
Here is the list of the 15 most congested roads in the UK, according to the INRIX research.
Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX, commented: “Congestion costs Brits billions of pounds each year. Unaddressed, it will continue to have serious consequences for national and local economies, businesses and citizens in the years to come.
“In order to avoid traffic congestion becoming a further drain on our economy, it is increasingly obvious that authorities need to adapt. With the help of new and innovative intelligent transportation solutions, we can begin to tackle the mobility issues we face today.”
Commenting on the data Glynn Barton, director of network management at TfL, said: “We are taking bold action to reduce congestion and improve London’s poor air quality.
“This includes removing the Congestion Charge exemption for private hire vehicles and reducing the time taken to clear up unplanned incidents, ensuring that roadworks by utilities companies and others are better coordinated.
“We are also working with the freight industry to encourage more efficient deliveries across the capital.”
“To directly tackle poor air quality, we are ensuring that buses, taxis and private hire vehicles are as green as possible, alongside the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone this April.
“In delivering the Mayor’s ambitious plans for 80 per cent of all journeys to be made by public transport, walking or cycling by 2041, our plans will further help tackle congestion across London,” he added.
You can find the full INRIX 2018 Traffic Scorecard here, with results able to be filtered by country.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.