Car-mageddon: Congestion costs London $8.5bn a year and it’s getting worse

Exasperated by the slow crawl into work? Fed-up of traffic fumes? London is grinding to a halt, and as the transport crisis worsens, it is wreaking economic havoc on the capital.

The latest projections indicate that the economic costs of overcrowded travel infrastructure are rising faster in London than in cities in France, Germany and the US.

According to traffic information company Inrix and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, congestion in London cost the economy $8.5bn (£5.3bn) in 2013, and the costs will rise to $14.5bn (£9.07bn) by 2030.

Over the next 16 years the cost is expected to be more than $200bn (£125bn).

Inrix geo-analytics general manager Kevin Foreman said: “This report shows that advanced economies could be heading for ‘car-mageddon’.”

“Improving public transport infrastructure may provide more choice for travellers,” he added, “but it won’t solve the problem.”

Speaking to the FT, AA president and visiting professor of transport at Newcastle University, Edmund King said: “The costs of congestion vary according to different studies. But we all know that it’s felt worst in London and the south east because of the density of population there and the number of businesses that are affected.”

He added that the new proposed high speed rail links would have a “minimal” impact, but said: “That’s not to say that high-speed rail isn’t needed. But let’s not kid ourselves; it’s not going to solve the congestion problem.”

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