M25 motorway

Traffic alert: Britain’s five busiest road sections revealed

M25 motorway

The government has revealed the five busiest road sections in Great Britain, and it won’t surprise you to discover that four of them are on the M25.

Predictably, the stretch linking junction 14 at Heathrow Airport with the M4 at junction 15 is the most congested, with 219,000 vehicles using the section EVERY DAY in 2018.

Junction 13 at Staines to junction 14 is the next busiest road with 206,000 vehicles, with junction 15 to junction 16 for the M40 motorway next up with 201,000 vehicles.

The section linking junctions 12 and 13 completes the misery for motorists forced to use the M25 on a daily basis, with 193,000 vehicles hitting the short section every day.

Only the M1 between junction 9 for Rebourn and junction 8 for Hemel Hempstead manages to muscle in on the M25’s dominance, with 184,000 vehicles using the stretch of motorway in Hertfordshire.

Commuters on the M25

The figures were taken by an analysis of the Strategic Road Network (SRN), which is made up of motorways and major trunk roads managed by Highways England, or equivalent truck road networks in the devolved administrations.

Amazingly, although the SRN makes up just 2.4 percent of England’s road network, it carried 34 percent of all motorised traffic in England.

Even more amazing – if you enjoy road statistics – is the fact that, at a national level, 85 percent of Britain’s traffic was on England’s roads in 2018. If you need a break, head to Scotland or Wales…

Of the five local authorities in England with the highest levels of traffic, three are in the South East (Hampshire, Kent and Surrey), and the other two are in the East of England region (Essex and Hertfordshire).

Surprise: traffic is DOWN in London

London Congestion Charge

But motor vehicle traffic is up across almost the entire country, with the South West showing the biggest increase since 1993 (39 percent), followed by Scotland and East of England (both up 37 percent).

Only Greater London bucked the trend, with traffic down 4 percent, presumably a symptom of anti-car legislation, expensive parking and the use of public transport.

If you’ve had enough of traffic congestion, we can recommend some terrific roads in Scotland and Wales. Alternatively, check out our list of the quietest A-roads in the country.