Manchester traffic delays second only to London


Manchester is second only to London for traffic jams. That’s according to a new league table from the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC).

The NIC examined the ease with which commuters could drive from one area to another in peak times versus off-peak times. The areas with the biggest disparity between the two were considered the most congested.

Liverpool and Birmingham follow in third and fourth behind London and Manchester. Unsurprisingly, the top 25 traffic hot-spots on the table are all urban areas. The highest ranked non-“primary urban area”, at number 26, was a combined area spanning Accrington and Rossendale in Lancashire.

Sir John Armitt, NIC Chairman, said the data demonstrates the need for significant investment in the UK’s urban road networks.

Its plan to amend the situation? Put the power (and money) back in the hands of the local leaders – those that have a better understanding of what their constituents need and can develop their own integrated plans to battle traffic.

A small number of cities will benefit from the Commission’s attention. Any lessons will passed on to other areas.


“From Manchester to Bournemouth our cities are facing gridlock – creating misery for people trying to get from A to B,” said Sir John.

“Trying to tackle this from London won’t work. Our metro mayors and city leaders need to be in the driving seat to develop local solutions.”

The NIC is an independent organisation tasked with advising the government on how the country’s infrastructure needs to evolve. The league table was assembled as part of the five-yearly National Infrastructure Assessment, now calling for an extra £43 billion for urban transport improvements by 2040.

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