Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 10th January 2019

The UK is known for having some of the busiest roads in the world and a new study has shown which cities have the most congestion. The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) carried out a government-backed survey of the 10 cities with the highest amount of traffic. The NIC found that Manchester is the most gridlocked city outside of London. Data revealed that cars and buses in central Manchester suffer delays of over 100 seconds for every mile travelled. The national average for urban A roads is 78 seconds.

Liverpool came in second place, while Birmingham took the third spot. Portsmouth and Southampton were joint fourth and Nottingham came in fifth place. The NIC used the survey to recommend increasing the power of local authorities to help with traffic flow.

NIC Chairman, Sir John Armitt talked about the nature of UK congestion. “From Manchester to Bournemouth our cities are facing gridlock – creating misery for people trying to get from A to B. Trying to tackle this from London won’t work. Our metro mayors and city leaders need to be in the driving seat to develop local solutions.”

The NIC is recommending cities receive £43 billion in central funding by 2040. According to Armitt it will “give the people who know their cities best the tools they need to improve urban transport and support the delivery of new employment opportunities and homes.”

During the survey, the NIC compared the ease of which people could drive from one area to another at peak and off-peak times. Locales with the biggest difference in travel times during peak and off-peak hours were clocked at being the most congested. According to the NIC, this approach served as a better reflection of what drivers experience in real time.

President of the AA, Edmund King gave his opinion on the study. “Residents of Manchester won’t be surprised to top the polls of the most congested city outside of London. Private car ownership is still strong, and will remain a fact of life in cities for decades. Unless councils provide attractive, reliable alternatives, traffic jams will remain a fixture of city life.”

The top 10 most congested cities outside of London are as followed:

  1. Manchester
  2. Liverpool
  3. Birmingham
  4. Southampton and Portsmouth
  5. Nottingham
  6. Leeds
  7. Bristol
  8. Brighton
  9. Leicester
  10. Bournemouth