Traffic Congestion Eases Across Europe

A recent study has shown that European roads are becoming less congested as car usage drops due to the Euro zone debt crisis, high rates of unemployment, and rising fuel prices, which are all conspiring to force motorists to abandon using their vehicles.

INRIX, a company that offers traffic information and intelligent driver services, has recently released its INRIX Traffic Scorecard, which indicates a 17 percent reduction in traffic congestion worldwide for 2011. The UK has been named the fourth worst country for congestion, with Manchester and London ranking below Milan in Italy and Paris, France, as the worst cities in Europe for traffic.

However, the study also indicates that traffic congestion on UK roads has decreased by 11 percent in 2011, a sign that the UK economy is on the back foot, as traffic congestion is known to be an excellent indicator of economic growth.

Stuart Marks, the senior vice president of INRIX Europe, said, ‘So goes traffic, so goes the economy. Traffic congestion is an excellent economic indicator telling us whether people are going to work, businesses are shipping products and consumers are spending money. As the European Union decides how to best help countries like Spain and Italy, the report not only validates the extent of the debt crisis in these countries but indicates who might be next.’

The Top 10 Most Congested Cities in the UK are Greater Manchester; London Commuter Zone; Liverpool (Merseyside); Greater Belfast-Lisburn; Newcastle upon Tyne (Tyne & Wear); South Nottinghamshire; Greater Birmingham; Leeds-Bradford-Harrogate; South Yorkshire (Sheffield); and Edinburgh-Lothian.