Currently reading: Congestion at 20-year low
But it will rise again when the economy begins to recover

Congestion on the UK’s major motorways and trunk roads has dropped by almost one third in two years due to the effects of the recession.

These are the findings of a new AA and Trafficmaster report, which polled 75,000 motorists. It is the first decline in congestion on these roads in 20 years.

The fall has been down to people losing their jobs or choosing to work from home in order to save money, but traffic on bank-holidays and Fridays has increased as more people are choosing to take their holidays in the UK rather than abroad.

The AA and Trafficmaster have warned motorists that congestion will rise again as the economy recovers and more people find employment.

Georgina Read from Trafficmaster said: “We’ve been collecting and analysing congestion data for the past 20 years, with all previous years up to 2007 showing the congestion problem growing. However, post credit crunch, the trend has been well and truly broken and we’ve now witnessed two consecutive years of dramatically falling congestion levels.”

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “So the report brings both good news and bad news; congestion is falling, but that it is due to the recession, fuel prices and unemployment.

“The motor vehicle is an integral part of British culture and our lifestyle that we have come to rely on - whether that is getting to work, taking the kids to school or delivering our goods. So when times are hard it is with reluctance that we look at ways of cutting down on car journeys and using alternative modes of transport.

“This only strengthens our need to keep investing in the road infrastructure, so that when the recession ends we have a network that can support a thriving economy.”

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jskater 7 September 2009

Re: Congestion at 20-year low

20 year low my arse! Did anyone else try driving down the M5 on saturday? Evidently the publisher of this report didn't...

Broom Broom 7 September 2009

Re: Congestion at 20-year low

In London, it's also the effect of Boris replacing the vain, dogmatic, spiteful and witless LivingstONE.

Now - assuming the role of Mayor has any real significance at all - it is administered by someone who believes in common sense, logic and expediency for the common good, and not paltry little ideologies that ride roughshod over practicality in order to always be cocking a snook at some party that's arbitrarily seen as the enemy. In this case, as has been stated previously, it was the evil car owner who was punished and made to suffer unduly; regardless of the fact that in doing so, the tyrannical LivingstONE was actually destroying the system as a whole for everybody using any form of transport.

The tendentious, woolly-thinking people who receive all thoughts from organs like The Guardian, The Independent, and the overbearing credo of the BBC have been told that traffic lights, bus lanes and 'traffic calming (an ironic title if ever there was one)' are so-called Liberal issues. As such, road furniture and restrictions were mindlessly employed where control of the driver, rather than control by the driver, was seen as a virtuous end.

Speed bumps, if replaced by anything, should all be replaced by speed cameras. The implementation of traffic lights should all be reconsidered to give back the discretion to the driver and pedestrian. Bus lanes, in most cases I know of, should be removed, and bus routes should either be made much cleaner - i.e. electric - or capped. One-way systems should be redesigned, or not implemented unless there's a robust and convincing case with no alternatives.

We have to get used to the fact that in a modern world with all commodities centralised, the car is the most effective form of transport for the masses to use as a mainstay. Until, from on high, we enforce bicycle riding and local allotments on the people as a means of subsistence rather than leisure, this fact will not change, and we need to free up our roads from the polluting, regressive effects of oppressive, detached worthiness dispensed by the sort of egotistical drones whose main aim is to impose a self-proclaimed Liberal agenda for reasons of piety more than anything progressive.

Sandy Sinclair 7 September 2009

Re: Congestion at 20-year low

I am sorry but which solar system are these people from . In Bristol the traffic is getting worse and worse by the day , mainly because of 20 years of a Labour Council , pedestrian loving lentle eating fascists, all of whom wish to make the car akin to Satan. Congestion in Bristol is mainly due to the fact that bus stops in Bristol cut off 50% of the available lanes , due to the undiluted talent of the Highways agency in Bristol, instead of actually providing room for the bus in a proper bus stop it simply stops in the middle of the road and sod everyone else. It took me 2 and a half hours to do a journey of 5 miles in and around the city centre and its "relief roads" . In 1990 there were 2 sets of traffic lights on a 3 mile stretch of main road through Bristol to the M32. Today there are 19 sets of lights. Instead of a car free day , why don't we try a bus and cyclist free day and see just how much better all our lives would be as a result. There would be no congestion anywhere in the UK. Buses especially are a menace as a) they are far to big for the passanger numbers, most are empty even at rush hour, b) they are responsible for the majority of our pollutants in the city centre c) the are all driven by nazis who never check their mirrors before sweeping wildly into the traffic stream d) are the main cause of congestion in our country. I have lived on and off in Sao Paulo , Brasil for 14 years, a city of 19 million people. They solve the congestion problem by making the pedestrian the least important figure in the traffic network. You dont just push a button and the lights turn red, you wait until the timing turns the lights red. Nor do they wait a huge amount of time between changes so you have all four traffic streams waiting like a bunch of fools wondering why no car is moving. They have it sorted why can't we? On that note can't wait for the planned showcase bus route, then we really will be doomed.