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Mike Waters' blog: 23rd October - Road to nowhere

Date: 23 October 2014

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company

There are few more frustrating things than being stuck in traffic when you need to be somewhere. For any driver that does a daily commute traffic jams are a common occurrence, especially if you live in and around a city, and if you believe a new report from INRIX/CEBR things are only going to get worse.

A combination of population growth and a buoyant economy will mean that there will be more vehicles on the roads and therefore it will be slower going. Last year the the average British motorist spent 124 hours stuck in traffic and the report suggests that this will rise to 136 hours in 2030 - that's a lot of wasted time!

Undoubtedly this has a severe impact on all parties concerned. For the driver it not only wastes time but also costs them money in fuel. For businesses it's also expensive and hinders them from doing their job. So the economic cost is one not to be underestimated.

With an outlook like this, it seems that the Government has no choice but to take action. What that action looks like is still to be confirmed but is likely to involve a mix of road building and road pricing. However, there is no magic wand.

In the UK we have a finite amount of space and the number of vehicles on the road isn't going down so as drivers, we need to think about our tactics. Many sat nav systems can now divert you away from traffic, but if you don't have one, traditional route planning will help. The time of day that you are travelling and the route that you take could make a big difference to the time that your journey takes.

It has to be worth spending a few minutes to plan your strategy to avoid congestion rather than several hours stuck in a jam.

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company.