Congestion in central London has lead to journey times increasing by 12% annually between 2012 and 2015, a report from traffic data experts Inrix has claimed.
However, despite the increased congestion, car travel has decreased in the capital since 2012 thanks to a greater reliance on public transport.
According to Inrix, roadworks and vans are behind the increased gridlock in London. Between 2012 and 2015, the duration of planned roadworks in the centre of the city increased by 362%, resulting in 2437 hours (102 days) of disruption, while the study found the number of vans on the roads has increased by 7.7% between 2012 and 2015.
Inrix also analysed the possible impact on congestion due to an increase in private hire vehicles. It found, , that 5.9% of Uber trips were in the Congestion Charge zone during its charging hours.
In addition, data from Transport for London supports the theory that taxis have a low impact on congestion in London. When analysed further, private hire vehicles and taxis together accounted for one out of every four vehicles in a traffic stream crossing the Congestion Charge zone boundary.
With as much as 23% of Uber travel occurring between midnight and 5am, the study concluded that Uber vehicles complement the London transport mix and provide additional travel choices for consumers during times when public transport is limited or unavailable and when roads are quieter.
“It is easy to speculate on the causes of congestion in London, but solving this problem requires a deeper understanding and awareness of the true factors,” said Dominic Jordan, chief data scientist, Inrix. “Through road improvements, TfL is making significant efforts to future-proof the city, which will benefit both road users and the London economy.”
“However, our study shows that roadworks like these, as well as a rise in goods vehicles, are the major causes of congestion in the capital,” he added.