Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Mike Waters' blog: 2 September - Time is of the essence
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Mike Waters' blog: 2 September - Time is of the essence

Date: 02 September 2015

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

Are you one of the UK drivers who is spending 30 hours a year stuck in traffic? If so, you probably feel like too many precious hours of your life are spent behind the wheel.

According to the latest Traffic Scorecard Report from INRIX, a provider of real-time traffic information, traffic congestion has risen in over three-quarters of UK cities. That probably doesn't come as a great shock and it's a major frustration for many drivers.

The report shows that the UK climbed one place to fifth position for the worst traffic in Europe in 2014, In recent weeks it has eased a bit due to holiday season, but with the schools going back very soon, journey times are likely to increase for most of us.

That's why it's a good time to work out a strategy to beat the queues. You can't influence congestion but with some clever journey planning you can influence how much of an impact it has on your daily routine.

Without wishing to state the obvious, the time of day that you travel and the routes that you take can have a big impact. There are now a range of technology based aids that can also help - we've just introduced traffic alerts into our driver app and this kind of tool can give you a live view of the roads to use and the roads to avoid.

Trends in recent years suggest that the number of vehicles on the road is only going to increase and that the infrastructure will struggle to keep pace. Because of this, anything that you can do to shave off a few minutes will add up.

On the plus side, there is always someone worse off. UK motorists spent 21 fewer hours in traffic than those in Belgium (Europe's most congested country), as drivers spent 51 hours stuck in gridlock during 2014.