These were the five worst traffic jams in the UK over the past year as stoppages cost the economy £9bn

Rebecca Smith
November last year had the most traffic jams
November last year had the most traffic jams (Source: Getty)

Millions of pounds worth of both fuel and time have been wasted over the past year thanks to traffic delays across the UK, according to new research from Inrix.

There were over 1.35m traffic jams in the past year on the UK's major roads, costing drivers an estimated £9bn in total.

The traffic analysts assessed the impact of disruption on motorways and A roads between September 2016 and August 2017, finding that the worst incident cost the economy around £2.4m. It lasted around 15 hours with traffic tailing back 35 miles at the peak of the incident.

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The five worst UK traffic jams in the past year

Ranking Date Road and direction Junction Reason for the traffic jam Duration
1. 04/08/17 M5 - N J10 Two lanes closed and queuing traffic due to accident involving two lorries which created a fuel spill 15 hours
2. 07/04/17 M6 - N J21 One lane closed, delays and very slow traffic due to emergency repairs 8 hours
3. 25/08/17 M6 - N J17-23 A number of lanes were closed at various points along the M6 through the roadworks after a number of vehicles broke down and required recovery 8 hours
4. 29/11/16 A406 - W A109 Two lanes closed, severe delays and queuing traffic due to accident, and only one lane open from 8am after a crash at 7.30am 15 hours
5. 13/12/16 M6 - N J32 Three lanes closed and queuing traffic due to emergency repairs requiring resurfacing work following earlier trailer fire 10 hours

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The causes of the worst queues ranged from fuel spills to broken down lorries, with November last year the worst month in terms of the number of traffic jams. There were 169,000 on the UK's major roads for the month, though April had the most troublesome ones.

Inrix assessed the cost of traffic jams as the value of wasted time, fuel and unnecessary carbon emissions.

Dr Graham Cookson, chief economist at Inrix, said:

While queuing is considered a national pastime for many Brits, nothing is more frustrating than sitting in traffic and Inrix roadway analytics shows it’s a costly activity.

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