But London residents may not be pleased to hear that London is now the most congested city in Europe, having recently overtaken Brussels according to a report in the Financial Times. The average London driver spent 96 hours stuck in traffic last years, a rise of 14 hours on the year before according to data from Inrix. The cost of this congestion was reported as being $8.5 billion. Explanations given were population growth, a strengthening economy, on-line shopping causing a rise in light vans, and construction projects.
Garrett Emmerson, Chief Operating Officer for London Streets (part of TfL) suggested this was because “We are a medieval city in many ways, certainly in Central London” which implied it was difficult to do much about it.
Comment: Mr Emmerson is being disingenuous. Not only has London failed to improve its roads and add more capacity over many years unlike other major cities, it has actually been reducing road capacity. The reduction of the Embankment, a major east-west route, from two lanes to one is an example. This has contributed to a major increase in traffic congestion in central London in recent months which has been blamed on the road works to implement the cycle superhighway, but that congestion is very likely to be a permanent new feature in London.