Revealed: How much time traffic jams will add to your journey in West Sussex

editorial image

An unknown quantity for any car journey is how long you might be delayed.

But fear not, figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) reveal how many seconds drivers will spend at a standstill for every mile they travel on an A road.

The data for West Sussex shows that for every mile on one of the main roads across the area a car will be delayed by 27.7 seconds.

So for a daily commute of five miles a driver should add around two minutes to the journey to get to work on time. Anyone travelling 20 miles can expect a delay of around 9 minutes.

The latest statistics, covering 2016, show there has been a rise of 2% on the previous year.

And while West Sussex drivers may get furious about traffic jams, they are actually delayed less than majority of England.

The country overall has an average delay time of 45.9 seconds per mile, which was a 2.8% increase on 2015.

While the DfT hasn’t yet released localised data for 2017, it has unveiled the England-wide numbers which show the average delay has increased once again to 46.4 seconds.

Queues can be caused by anything from fuel spills, emergency repairs and broken down lorries, to congestion during peak times.

And the figures appear to show that traffic jams, one of Britain’s least popular national pastimes, are getting worse.

All of this impacts speeds on A roads, where England’s average is 25mph despite speed limits ranging between 30mph to 70mph on anything from small urban roads to dual carriageways.

In 2016 motorists in West Sussex drove along at 31.5mph, remarkably some of the fastest drivers in England despite only travelling at just over 30mph.

This was slower than the previous year by 1%.

In October the government wrote to Highways England, which runs major A roads and motorways, demanding a reduction in delays after the transport data company Inrix revealed traffic jams on UK roads cost the economy £9bn a year.

Link to source data <https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/provisional-road-traffic-estimates-great-britain-october-2016-to-september-2017>