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'Highway to Hell' the curse of the traffic jam


World

'Highway to Hell' the curse of the traffic jam

For tens of millions of people across the globe sitting in traffic jams is part of the daily ritual.

Wake up, dress, clean teeth, have breakfast, sit in a traffic jam.

It is bizzare that cars,designed to transport people about quickly and in comfort, actually waste time, cause anxiety, kill and injure people, pollute and cost a lot of money.

According to a new study carried out by Inrix index reports, some gridlock is better than others as it publishes a list of the world’s most congested cities.

But, how and what makes a good or bad traffic jam, comfort, vehicle type, is an hour in a tuktuk in the sweltering heat of Mumbai as bad as two hours on a LA freeway in an air conditioned four-wheel-drive.

The study took in 1,064 cities across 38 countries and reached the following conclusions.

Top ten countries in the World and Europe

Motorists in Thailand have the toughest time spending a mind numbing 61 hours a year stuck in traffic.

Colombia and Indonesia tied for second spot with a spritely 47 hours each year spent in gridlock.

The authors explain that although developing countries have fewer large cities they are more heavily congested than developed countries. They lack decongestants such as public transport and systematic urban planning.

Russia tops the gridlock charts in Europe coming in at 42 hours per person per year.

Traffic in the UK is on go slow with Belfast the most blocked city followed by Edinburgh and London.

Londoners are tortured in traffic jams on average 6.3 days a year.

The busiest day on the roads in London last year was Thursday June 23, the day of the Brexit vote, perhaps everyone was trying to escape.

However, Los Angeles is the most gridlocked city in the world, in November last year the Thanksgiving getaway provoked what was described as the ‘world’s worst ever traffic jam.’ The 405 motorway, one of the busiest strips of road in the US, was in complete gridlock.

Enough time wasting, Kansas City in the US with its comprehensive freeway system and dispersed employment base is the world’s least congested city, followed by more US cities: Cleveland, Indianapolis, Memphis, Louisville and St. Louis. In Europe Spain’s Valencia is a good place to cruise around.

In northwest Europe the Dutch port city of Rotterdam is the least congested and the level of congestion has remained constant, where in other similar cities such as Hamburg, Amsterdam and Antwerpen in Belgium, gridlock has increased since 2015.

Time is money

In the UK the report calculated that a whopping £30bn in costs was incurred in 2016, with each driver in London losing on average £1,911 due to traffic problems.

For London it means direct and indirect costs of more than £6bn, that is peanuts compared to LA where each driver loses $2,400 and the city a bewildering $9bn.

Anyway time to leave, I want to get on the road to avoid the traffic!