Last month the Department for Transport published new quarterly statistics on congestion on local authority ‘A’ roads, which include most motorways and carry about 80% of all traffic in England. The chart below shows trends in average speeds (and by implication, congestion) in each region during the equivalent quarter of each year back to 2008 (click for full size).
This illustrates a few points:
- Congestion is much higher in London than in any other region, unsurprisingly.
- However, London is the only region where congestion did not worsen between 2008 and 2010 (as shown by lower speeds).
- However however, speeds increased and congestion fell in every region apart from London between 2011 and 2012.
To what extent this latter trend is due to transport policies or to factors such as different weather conditions or different economic fortunes is open to speculation.