Rush Hour? That'll Be 30 Minutes Stationary Then

Citroen C2 Stop & Start

Citroen C2

Britain’s rush hour motorist is spending up to half the journey at a standstill, it was claimed today.

Research by car firm Citroen examined how long drivers spent stationary during the morning commute in six of the country’s most congested cities. Whilst the average motorist will be static for 22 minutes, Cardiff was by far the worst with a motionless 30 minutes and 13 seconds.

Citroen found that drivers in Birmingham, Manchester and Norwich can expect to be at a standstill for over 20 minutes, and even in the least congested city, Edinburgh, almost 18 minutes were spent stationary. However, the Scottish capital’s transport leader was recently quoted as saying a 20-minute journey could take an hour by 2026.*

City Time Stationary Miles Covered
Edinburgh 17m 54s 17.3
London 19m 20s 6.8
Norwich 20m 32s 15.7
Manchester 21m 00s 16.2
Birmingham 21m 44s 14.8
Cardiff 30m 13s 15.7

Although Ken Livingston’s Congestion Charge may have gone some way to reducing the time Londoners are stationary in their cars, the sheer weight of traffic continues to cripple commuter progress . During a one-hour window just 6.8 miles were covered - half the distance achieved in Cardiff. Across the six cities surveyed, motorists travelled just 14.41 miles per hour in comparison.

According to the Department of Transport the average Briton will spend around 360 hours travelling a year, or about an hour a day.**

Last November, the then Transport Secretary, Alistair Darling, announced plans to explore potential congestion charging zones in Durham, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Tyne and Wear, Shrewsbury, Cambridgeshire and Bristol.

He said congestion remains one of the biggest threats to economic expansion in the next 10-15 years. “It is bad for business, frustrates motorists and hurts local economies.” ***

Citroen commissioned the research to highlight the environmental benefits of its unique “Stop & Start” technology. Available on its C2 and C3 small cars, the system maximises fuel economy and minimises exhaust gas emissions by turning off its engine when stationary.

Citroen is currently offering to pay the equivalent of one year’s Congestion Charge (worth £1,696) for buyers of its new C2 and C3 Stop & Start models. The C2 Stop & Start can return an impressive 50.4mpg on combined cycle.

The manufacturer had hoped that the Energy Saving Trust would grant the C2 exemption from the Congestion Charge after admitting it “met the required criteria”.

Published 7 June 2006 Melanie Carter
 

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