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Businesses say worsening traffic congestion is costing them money

Date: 21 January 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Traffic congestion is seen as a problem by 83% of small and medium-sized enterprises, while 65% of them say it is getting worse, according to Close Brothers Asset Finance. 

The firm's quarterly survey of businesses in the UK and Ireland found that only 17% of responses felt that traffic levels were getting better, while 18% were unsure. 

The issue is hitting firms financially, with 41% saying they are unable to trade at full capacity while 41% again are seeing reduced profits through lost productivity.

The issue is worse in London where the figures are 62% and 57% respectively. 

Close Brothers CEO Neil Davies said: "The UK is the world's 10th most congested country and London is Europe's second most gridlocked city after Moscow. Manchester, Birmingham, Luton and Edinburgh complete the UK's top five major areas affected. 

"As an example, one of our employees recently spent over nine hours in a traffic jam after the Dartford crossing was closed. This effectively meant that as a business we lost a whole day's worth of output, and this is replicated across the country, costing billions of pounds in lost productivity." 

When asked about whether the UK road network could cope with existing traffic levels, firms' response was mixed, with 48% saying it could and 52% saying it couldn't. 

Davies said: "What our research is telling us is that the solution to traffic congestion lies in a holistic approach, including road, rail, air and maritime. 

"A number of measures have had some success but it's clear more needs to be done."



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