The nastiest place in the country for congestion is the southern end of the M1, according to a new survey from Trafficmaster and the RAC Foundation.
Trafficmaster quantified its congestion alerts to drivers over the last year to work out which roads were the most congested - and the M1 from junctions 6A to 11 came out on top.
The M25 took second and third places in the survey, with the western section (junction 9, near Heathrow airport) coming second and the northern section (junction 21, near the M1) coming third.
Next was the M6, with the West Midlands at junction 3A and the North Midlands/North West area at junction 21A coming fourth and fifth respectively.
Overall, the survey reports a 0.8% increase in congestion in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the same period last year.
Stuck? Take another route
Trafficmaster also compared some of the UK's most popular journeys over a week, and compared them to parallel, less obvious routes. The results show that many of the supposedly faster routes are slower because of congestion or because they are less direct.
The top five routes for weekly time savings were:
1. Manchester to Leeds (M62 v A628/M1)
Winner: M62 - weekly time saving is 2 hours 25 minutes.
2. London to Norwich (A12/A14/A140 v M11/A11)
Winner: M11 - weekly time saving is 1 hours 50 minutes.
3. London to Exeter (M3/A303 v M4/M5)
Winner: A303 - weekly time saving is 1 hour 10 minutes.
4. Edinburgh to Glasgow (M8/A8 v M9/M876)
Winner: M8 - weekly time saving is 1 hour.
5. York to Newcastle (A64/A1M v A19)
Winner: A19 - weekly time saving is 20 minutes.
More road statistics
The survey also showed some other interesting statistics - we've listed a few of them below:
• Although the majority of rush-hour commuting happens between 7:30am and 8:30am, peak commuter hours get earlier as the week progresses. It seems that, as the weekend beckons, we get up earlier but leave work earlier.
• In the North East of England, commuters leave home as early as 2:40am, whereas in the North West, workers are still driving home as late as 6pm.
• London has the longest spread of peak traffic - the concern is that other cities will soon catch up as the volume of traffic grows.
• 20% of company car drivers spend more than five hours a week in congestion, but half find their employers 'not at all' supportive over flexible working practices to avoid commuting.
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
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