UK businesses lose nearly £767m annually due to traffic congestion


According to research published by TomTom, a global company that manufactures navigational devices, traffic congestion is costing UK businesses approximately £767m annually in lost productivity.

The traffic across the UK’s 25 most congested cities and towns has been increasing each time a vehicle spends on the road by an average of 127 hours a year, which is equivalent to more than 16 working days, as per TomTom Traffic Index.

This would equate to a cost of £767,937,250 in time spent sitting in traffic for the 902,500 light commercial vehicles operated in these cities and towns.

TomTom Telematics UK & Ireland director Beverley Wise said: “Traffic congestion may be seen as a fact of life for every driver but, cumulatively, it is taking a heavy toll on the UK economy and this should not be accepted as an inevitability.

“Making the most of billable time is key to profitability for any business, so organisations that rely heavily on a mobile workforce must look for ways to maximise the time employees spend actually doing jobs by minimising time spent on the road.

“Through smarter planning, routing and scheduling, companies can help their drivers to better avoid traffic, which could not only have an impact on productivity but also customer service.

“Previous research conducted by TomTom Telematics among UK van drivers found 90% admit to arriving late for customer appointments, with 93% citing traffic as the reason.”

"Traffic congestion may be seen as a fact of life for every driver but, cumulatively, it is taking a heavy toll on the UK economy and this should not be accepted as an inevitability."

London faces the biggest financial hit, where £237m is lost to traffic each year, followed by Manchester (£157m) and Birmingham (£81m).

Wise further added: “Telematics solutions can help businesses mitigate the effect of traffic congestion and minimise time spent on the road. Firstly, drivers can be navigated along the fastest routes based on anticipated congestion spots and traffic information.

“But the data provided by telematics, including GPS location, ETAs and job status, can also be used to inform smarter planning where daily schedules are optimised to help ensure the most appropriate driver is sent to each job at the most appropriate time.”


Image: TomTom Traffic Index suggests traffic congestion costs UK business £767m annually. Photo courtesy of TomTom Telematics BV.