London: The city of London has been awarded the dubious distinction of being the most congested city in Europe.
The British capital climbed to first place overtaking Brussels, Cologne and Antwerp, according to statistics released today by transport analysts INRIX. Drivers spent an average 96 hours in traffic in 2014 ¿ a 14-hour increase on the previous year and amounting to nearly four whole days in a year.
Analysts attributed the rise in traffic delays to the growth in the economy, population growth and an increase in employment.
The five most gridlocked roads in UK are all in the capital and include the A215 and A4, where drivers lose more than 100 hours a year queuing in traffic.
"For the third year running, traffic in the UK is up. The strong growth of the UK economy and rise in urban populations have resulted in an increase in the demand for road travel, significantly driving levels of congestion up across the country," said Bryan Mistele, president and CEO of INRIX.
Across the UK, drivers lost an average of 30 hours in traffic last year. The worst areas in the country after London are Greater Manchester, Merseyside, greater Belfast and greater Birmingham.
"London's continued success has made it one of the world's most popular cities in which to live, work and visit, which also makes it one of the busiest," explained Garrett Emmerson, Transport for London's chief operating officer for surface transport.
"To tackle this, we need continued, sustained investment to boost capacity and modernise London's road network," she said.
The top five gridlocked capitals of Europe for 2014 after London came from Belgium and Germany ¿ Brussels, Cologne, Antwerp and Stuttgart ¿ ranked respectively by annual hours wasted in traffic.
Overall, the UK climbed one place to fifth in the list of Europe's most congested countries, although UK motorists spent 21 fewer hours in traffic than those in Belgium, Europe's most congested country, where drivers spent 51 hours stuck in gridlock in 2014.
Others in the top five includes the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg respectively.