It will take you an average of 36 minutes to drive just 6.2 miles in London

It will take you an average of 36 minutes to drive just 6.2 miles in London thumbnail

It’s long been known that London is a difficult to drive around, but now it’s officially been recognised as the slowest city in the world.

New research has found it takes an average of 36 minutes and 20 seconds to travel just 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) in the centre of the capital in 2022 – an increase of one minute and 50 seconds on the year before.

This was the longest journey time the navigation firm recorded across 389 cities in 56 countries.

India’s Bengaluru had the second slowest time at 29 minutes and 10 seconds, followed by Dublin, Ireland (28 minutes and 30 seconds) and Sapporo, Japan (27 minutes and 40 seconds).

Other UK cities in the top 50 included Manchester (24th place with 23 minutes and 10 seconds), Liverpool (32nd with 22 minutes and 20 seconds) and Edinburgh (42nd with 21 minutes and 30 seconds).

TomTom’s traffic expert Andy Marchant said people switching to road transport during rail strikes contributed to congestion in London last year.

He said: ‘Due to the configuration of the road network in central London, travel times even without traffic are some of the highest in the world.’

While he pointed out the findings don’t mean London is the most congested city in the world, he said it’s clear there’s a link between increasing congestion and the slowest average speed in the capital. 

He said: ‘While strike action caused traffic congestion levels to soar, better traffic management based on real-time data intelligence is needed throughout the year to ensure viable traffic flows and the efficient use of city infrastructure.’

There were multiple strike days held by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef), which caused disruption for passengers between June and December 2022. 

On average, Londoners needed 35 minutes to drive six miles (11 mph), while during rush hour, the average speed was only 9mph.

Longest average travel times in UK cities in 2022 (per 10k)

  1. London – 36 minutes and 20 seconds
  2. Manchester – 23 minutes and 10 seconds
  3. Liverpool – 22 minutes and 20 seconds
  4. Edinburgh – 21 minutes and 30 seconds
  5. Bristol – 20 minutes and 40 seconds
  6. Sheffield – 20 minutes and 20 seconds
  7. Nottingham – 19 minutes and 40 seconds
  8. Leicester – 18 minutes 30 and seconds

Elsewhere, London just missed out on the top spot on another accolade – the most expensive city to drive your car in. 

Based on the price of petrol, diesel and charging an electric vehicle (EV), and taking into account the impact of congestion on fuel consumption – London was the world’s second most expensive city for drivers, behind Hong Kong.

This is likely to increase as plans to expand the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) to cover the whole of London are expected to go ahead later this year. 

It means hundreds of thousands more motorists will face a £12.50 daily charge to drive in the capital.

The scheme is currently limited to the area within the North and South Circular roads. From August 29 next year it will be expanded across the entirety of Greater London.

Six London councils are currently opposed to the potential changes – Harrow, Hillingdon, Havering, Bexley, Bromley and Croydon.

Meanwhile, Londoners also have to fork out £15 per day if they want to drive in the Congestion Charge Zone.

This includes much of Central London such as Waterloo, London Bridge and Liverpool Street areas, as well as Soho, Piccadilly Circus, South Bank and Mayfair.

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