Food firms best at navigating Europe’s busiest roads

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

The UK has the most congested roads in Europe (Flickr/jonbgem)
The UK has the most congested roads in Europe (Flickr/jonbgem)

Related tags: Road, Fta

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has urged all UK logistics operators to follow the food and drink industry’s example in using real-time traffic information to avoid delays, after it was revealed the UK had the most congested roads in Europe.

The UK had more than 20,000 traffic hotspots – more than double those in Germany and 11 times those in France – a report from traffic data firm INRIX revealed. Food and drink organisations used INRIX live traffic updates to navigate the busy roads, and the FTA said more industries should use it too.

FTA head of road network policy Malcolm Bingham told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “FTA members in the food and drink industry already enjoy the option to take up real-time information sourced from INRIX on delays.

‘A vital part of many companies’ operational planning’

​[It] has become a vital part of many companies’ operational day-to-day planning, and we would advise all operations to look at how they manage their fleets in our demanding operational environment.”

The report – Europe’s Traffic Hotspots ​– revealed 12,776 traffic hotspots in London alone, more than in Germany, France and Spain combined. The economic cost of these hotspots – total time wasted for business purposes – came to £4.9bn a year, INRIX claimed. A traffic hotspot was a congested road that forced drivers to slow their speed by 65% for at least two minutes.

By 2025, the economic cost of congestion would reach £61.8bn, INRIX estimated. Government must invest in better road infrastructure to reduce congestion and future transport costs, the FTA said.

‘More investment in road infrastructure’

“The fact that we have the most congested roads in Europe is not news to the freight industry,”​ Bingham said. “That is why we have been pushing in all our representation to government for more investment in road infrastructure, and just as importantly, funding to maintain what we have already got.”

Meanwhile, the £1.3bn for infrastructure spending​, revealed in the chancellor’s Autumn Statement, was welcomed as “great news”​ by the FTA. The funding included £220M to tackle traffic hotspots.

Top five most congested UK cities

  • London – 12,776 traffic hotspots
  • Birmingham – 872 traffic hotspots
  • Manchester – 768 traffic hotspots
  • Leeds – 712 traffic hotspots
  • Bristol – 619 traffic hotspots 

Related topics: Supply Chain

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