Leeds-Bradford is more congested than London – or almost anywhere else

TomTom, the satellite navigation people, have found that Leeds-Bradford is Britain’s most congested conurbation and is fractionally worse than London. Using real-time travel data from TomTom-equipped cars, the survey found that journey times were lengthened by 28% by congestion, compared to 27% in London. West Yorkshire drivers spend an average of 86 hours in traffic jams per year compared to 74 hours in London. As someone who has lived in both conurbations, this correspondent can confirm TomTom’s findings are depressingly believable.

On a pan European basis, Leeds-Bradford is the seventh worst city measured, while London is eighth and Birmingham is 19th. The worst city in Europe is Warsaw, with delays of 42%, but we reckon that is only because Istanbul was not included – that city is off the scale.Meanwhile Londoners should console themselves with the thought that for such a huge city, congestion is actually not that bad – no worse than much smaller cities in super-organised Germany or Sweden.

The streets of shame table reads like this:

1 Warsaw 42% congestion level

2 Marseille 41%

3 Rome 34%

4 Brussels 34%

5 Paris 32%

6 Dublin 30%

7 Leeds-Bradford 28%

8 London 27%

9 Stockholm 27%

10 Hamburg 27%

Incidentally, if you are wondering why the middle traffic light in the photograph appears to be festooned with straw, it is the nest of an enterprising thrush – the thrush is the little black dot in front of the red light.