Traffic costs Londoners thousands of pounds per year

Traffic on London’s roads costs the economy £5.1bn a year, according to new data published by the Mayor of London. 

Since 2011, as London has grown in population, it has also experienced a huge increase in the number of miles driven on its roads – rising by 3.5 billion miles. 

Data from external providers shows that as the number of vehicle miles has increased, so too has the time lost by drivers to traffic. 

TomTom data shows that in 2017 every driver spent an average of 144 hours a year sitting in traffic. In 2018 this increased to 147 hours and in 2019 to 149 hours. This equates to 6 days and 5 hours. 

This is estimated to cost the economy £5.1bn a year, or £1,211 per driver, based on an estimate of the average value of earnings that drivers could be making, or the leisure time they could be enjoying, if they were not stuck in traffic.

wide road with vehicles

This financial cost also comes alongside health impacts, including increased risk of respiratory diseases and children growing up with stunted lungs. 

Sadiq Khan has warned that unless efforts increase to deliver a green, sustainable recovery from the pandemic, the capital could move from one public health and economic crisis to another. 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘Whilst we have made huge strides in increasing walking and cycling in London throughout the pandemic, car use has remained consistently high. If we do not double down on our efforts to deliver a greener, more sustainable future we will replace one public health crisis with another – caused by filthy air and gridlocked roads.

‘The cost to both Londoners and the capital cannot be underestimated, with days wasted stuck in traffic, billions lost to the economy and increased road danger and health impacts. Most traffic is caused simply by there being too great a demand for limited street space, meaning the only long-term solution can be to significantly reduce car use in favour of greener means of travel.’



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