Recession has cut congestion, says AA

* 31% reduction in congestion * Rush hour less busy * More 'leisure' traffic, though...

Recession has cut congestion, says AA

Traffic congestion has dropped because of the recession, according to new research.

The report - 'Congestion Commuting, An Economic Barometer' - was carried out by Trafficmaster and the AA. It claims that since the economic downturn began two years ago, there has been a 31% reduction in road congestion.

The findings are based on traffic information compiled by Trafficmaster over the past five years and commuting behaviour research from the AA and its AA/Populus panel of 75,000 drivers.

More 'leisure' traffic
Congestion levels are directly lined to major financial events and the economic climate, according to the report, which also suggests that rush hour is 'becoming redundant'.

Although congestion has dropped across the road network during the normal working week, the recession has led to extra 'leisure' traffic on Fridays, school holidays and bank holidays, as more people choose to holiday in the UK, or take shorter weekend breaks.

The statistics

The report suggests that the biggest decrease in congestion was at weekday morning peak times, with an overall average reduction of 15%,

Other statistics included:
• 20% of all commuters said that economic circumstances had led them to work from home to save money
• 14% had used public transport
• 12% had shared cars to reduce costs
• 67%, however, said they would double the length of their commute to keep their job.

Edmund King, AA president, said: 'When times are hard, it is with reluctance that we look at ways of cutting down on car journeys and using alternative modes of transport.'

'This only strengthens our need to keep investing in the road infrastructure, so that when the recession ends we have a network that can support a thriving economy.'