BUSINESSES are losing more than £12 million a year because of traffic congestion, it has been estimated.
A survey has revealed that the cost of heavy traffic to firms in Portsmouth has increased by almost £2 million the last year.
According to the TomTom Traffic Index, the average commercial vehicle driver wastes more than 13 working days sat in traffic.
Congestion in Portsmouth increases the time each vehicle spends on the road by an average of 102 hours a year.
The traffic issue is costing businesses a whopping £12,484,800 a year in lost productivity, compared to the £10,528,380 recorded in last year’s report.
Tim Barrett, a driver for a Portsmouth-based taxi firm, said: ‘I’ve been in this job for 11 years and spend my life on the road. I can tell you that it is getting worse. I miss the times when I only had to worry about rush hour. I used to make a lot of money through day jobs but now it’s constant congestion and I’m taking half the amount of bookings.
‘I have contemplated moving because it isn’t sustainable so I can believe other businesses are feeling the strain.
‘The government seems to be spending a lot of money on creating new housing for students and these skyscrapers.
‘We’re seeing an influx of younger people which means more vehicles on the road.
‘I think we need better transport links throughout the city and better access. The Park and Ride doesn’t seem to be helping. I don’t see how they’re going to combat it.’
The issue is part of a nationwide problem. The cost to businesses in the UK’s 25 most congested cities and towns currently stands at £915,239,520.
The report revealed that traffic across the UK is getting increasingly worse over the last six years and an average journey in 2016 is taking 30 per cent longer than it would in free-flowing conditions. That has risen from 25 per cent in 2010.
Beverley Wise of TomTom Telematics. said: ‘Unfortunately, congestion levels continue to rise and the UK economy is paying the price for this at a time when the landscape is already challenging enough, with the growth rate now expected to be just 1.5 per cent this year.’