Survey finds traffic jams cost economy billions

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GRIDLOCK in urban areas is costing car-commuting households £4.4bn a year, according to a report.

The report was compiled by studying congestion in the UK’s 18 largest urban areas, including Portsmouth.

It was found that the average British driver spent 40 hours a year stuck in jams.

The overall cost figure was made up from the direct cost of fuel wasted (£441m), the direct cost of commuter time wasted in traffic (£2.79bn) and the indirect cost to household bills (£1.19bn).

The household bills figure was compiled from higher freight and business fees as a result of company vehicles being stuck in traffic, with the additional costs being passed on to households.

The director of Inrix European, which carried out the survey, is Matt Simmons.

He said: ‘Millions commute to work by car every day and these findings expose the significant economic impact gridlock is having on the UK economy. Congestion is reducing productivity, leaving commuters with higher bills and less time, as well as damaging the environment.’