The worst road in Birmingham for congestion and delays unveiled as traffic hold ups increase across the city

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Department for Transport figures have identified the most congested road in Birmingham as well as highlighting how traffic delays have increased in the city over the last year

Drivers in Birmingham experienced growing delays on local 'A' roads last year, new figures show.

It comes as motorists across England encountered more congestion than ever on the strategic road network, which includes local and major 'A' roads and motorways, with the RAC blaming the problem on too many roadworks.

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Department for Transport figures show drivers travelling on local 'A' roads in Birmingham were delayed by one minute and 16 seconds per mile on average when compared to the pace they would have made if driving at the speed limit in free-flowing conditions.

This was up from one minute and 14 seconds per mile the year before. In 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic which saw traffic levels plummet, the average delay for motorists in the area was one minute and 17 seconds per mile.

What is the most congested road in Birmingham?

Drivers in Birmingham are most likely to experience congestion along the A457 which saw the greatest delays in Birmingham with hold ups of two minutes and 22 seconds per mile.

Also known as Dudley Road is entirely urban and runs between Birmingham and Dudley. It has become a non-primary route since the Birmingham New Road (A4123) opened in 1927 and that along with the A456 became the recommended route between the city and Black Country town. 

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Worst road for congetion in Birmingham unveiledWorst road for congetion in Birmingham unveiled
Worst road for congetion in Birmingham unveiled

Nationally, drivers were held up by 48 seconds per mile on local 'A' roads – the highest figure since 2019. The figures cover only 'A' roads, which account for around 10% of England's highway network but carry around a third of all traffic.

What happens to the traffic delay rankings if you include motorways?

Meanwhile, factoring in motorways and major 'A' roads, drivers across the country were delayed by a record 11 seconds per mile. Speeds were measured using samples of vehicles recorded at different times of the day.

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: "It’s very concerning to see delays on our most important roads increasing to above pre-pandemic levels and average speeds are dropping.

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"With more people than ever working from home at least part of the week and no growth in the number of cars on the road since then, we’re struggling to see what the cause can be other than roadworks."

He added: "Given today’s disappointing findings, it’s more important than ever that National Highways, which is responsible for the strategic road network, is given sufficient funds in the next five-year road investment settlement to tackle these issues head-on."

What is the average speed drivers use along local  ‘A’ roads?

The data also shows the average speed drivers travelled along local 'A' roads, with the national average falling to 23 miles per hour last year, the lowest figure since before the pandemic. In Birmingham, motorists averaged 17.3 mph – down from 17.5 in 2019.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "This Government backs drivers, which is why we’re getting on with our plan to invest over £24 billion into our roads to reduce congestion, improve road safety and grow the economy. As well as investing more into new and improved roads, we have a plan for drivers to slam the brakes on anti-driver measures and help keep our country moving."

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