12 Dec 2006
Trafficmaster reveals term-time trauma on our roads
Increased congestion that includes millions of parents driving children to school in the mornings causes average journey times on some roads to triple in length, according to new analysis from intelligent driving experts, Trafficmaster.
The worst school traffic impact measured by Trafficmaster is on the southbound A629 near Bradford, West Yorkshire. The average morning rush-hour journey (08.30-09.15) on this busy route during the school holidays takes just 11 minutes, but in term time this figure rises to almost half an hour - for a stretch of road only two miles long.
UK-wide analysis shows this type of congestion occurs only briefly and is more serious during the morning rush, which brings together school, office and retail commuting. However, in this time, it frequently doubles journey times on short sections of major and local roads, creating significant delays throughout the affected areas.
Other affected areas include the eastbound A40 near Cheltenham (133% journey time increase in term time), the northbound A339 in Newbury (131% increase) and the eastbound A428 in Bedford (120% increase).
Philip Hale, spokesman for Trafficmaster, said: "Overall, four fifths of all our travel in Britain is by car, with average journeys being just six miles. School holidays reduce traffic on our roads by approximately 10 per cent, from a combination of parents taking holidays and not driving their children to school, but the effects vary widely.
"It's critical for other drivers to understand the local effects of this and avoid congested areas where possible, so as not to add to the problem. Knowing when and how your route will be affected and what alternatives there are could also save you significant time, money and frustration from getting caught in jams," he concluded.