Report this comment
  • "Strange how lots of different reasons have been advanced for the problem - traffic lights, road works, immigrant drivers, and the city being in the wrong place. Does no one ever consider that the situation might just be caused by too many drivers?
    Lets start by getting the worst drivers off the road - re-test all drivers every five years... if you need to renew a food hygiene certificate regularly then why not a driving licence?"
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.

  • Enter the above word in the box below

Southampton among ten most congested cities in UK

Traffic on the A35

Traffic on the A35

First published in Travel Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by

DRIVERS have known it for years but now it’s official – Southampton is one of the most congested places in the UK.

Most congested

1 London
2 Edinburgh
3 Oxford
4 Belfast
5 Bradford
6 Manchester
7 Birmingham
8 Aberdeen
9 Southampton
10 Nottingham

A new survey has placed it ninth in a league table of Britain’s most trafficchoked cities, with bigger jams even than Liverpool, Leeds and Leicester.

Southampton has also seen the fourth biggest increase in traffic over the past six months.

The findings, which will come as no surprise to the area’s long-suffering motorists, have been published by satnav firm TomTom.

But Southampton City Council has challenged the report, claiming its conclusions have been “hugely distorted” by geographical factors.

TomTom says London is Britain’s most congested city, followed by Edinburgh and Oxford.

Oxford has also seen the biggest increase in traffic since March, with the number of vehicles on its roads rising by 2.2 per cent. Belfast has witnessed the second biggest increase, followed by Bolton and Southampton.

Biggest Increase in traffic

1 Oxford
2 Belfast
3 Bolton
4 Southampton
5 Sheffield
6 Edinburgh
7 London
8 Glasgow
9 Cambridge
10 Aberdeen

Road congestion is estimated to cost the UK economy £20 billion a year in lost production.

Experts say a reduction of just five per cent in travel time could save businesses about £2.5 billion by cutting the number of missed appointments and speeding up delivery times.

The TomTom survey is based on traffic speed records in the 50 most congested areas across Britain between March and September.

However, its findings were disputed by Councillor Daniel Fitzhenry, the city council’s Cabinet member for environment and transport.

He said: “The traffic speed in Southampton compares well to other similar sized cities.

“The findings is this report are hugely distorted by the geography of the places we are being compared to. For example many other urban locations have long A-roads, duel carriageways and motorways running through and around them.

“This massively distorts the average traffic speeds to make it seem like those places have faster moving traffic.

“In fact, our data shows traffic speeds on Southampton’s roads are holding steady and are in some cases increasing.”

Get traffic updates on your mobile

The Daily Echo provides live traffic updates 24 hours a day. As well as the live panel to the right of this article, you can either visit or on your mobile go to

Comments (34)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree