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Congestion 'costs economy £4.3bn per year'

10/12/12

TRAFFIC congestion is costing the economy more than £4.3 billion a year, according to a survey.

The cost of the jams is equivalent to £491 per car-commuting household, the survey showed.

More than £426 million is wasted on fuel alone a year, the survey by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and traffic information company Inrix said.

The cost in terms of lost time is £331 per commuter a year, or £2.7 billion, while hold-ups to business or freight vehicles amounts to £1.1 billion annually being added to household costs.

Around 40% of the gridlock costs occur in the London area, with commuting drivers spending 66.1 hours a year stuck in jams.

The cost of idling in traffic in London is £15.19 per commuter compared with the UK national average of £12.51.

Inrix chief executive Bryan Mistele said: "Traffic congestion impacts everything from how long it takes us to get to work and the amount of fuel we consume in our vehicles to the costs of food at the grocery store.

"As the UK continues facing times of austerity and high unemployment, the study indicates the efficient movement of people and commerce across our road networks is essential to fostering a healthy, vibrant economy."

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