traffic congestionPA

Traffic jams on UK roads are costing the economy more than £4.3bn a year, according to a survey.

The cost of the jams is equivalent to £491 per car-commuting household, while more than £426m is wasted on fuel alone a year, a survey by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and traffic information company Inrix has found.

The cost in terms of lost time is £331 per commuter a year, or £2.7b, while hold-ups to business or freight vehicles amounts to £1.1b annually being added to household costs.

Around 40 per cent of the gridlock costs occur in the London area, with commuting drivers spending 66.1 hours a year stuck in jams.

The cost of idling in traffic in London is £15.19 per commuter compared with the UK national average of £12.51.

Inrix chief executive Bryan Mistele said: "Traffic congestion impacts everything from how long it takes us to get to work and the amount of fuel we consume in our vehicles to the costs of food at the grocery store.

"As the UK continues facing times of austerity and high unemployment, the study indicates the efficient movement of people and commerce across our road networks is essential to fostering a healthy, vibrant economy."