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

No one likes getting stuck in traffic.
No one likes getting stuck in traffic.

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

But 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.

And they show that if you don't like traffic jams, Northumberland is the place to be.

The data for the county shows that for every mile on one of the main roads across the area a car will be delayed by 19.9 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 seven minutes.

The latest statistics, covering 2016, show there has been a rise of 8% on the previous year. While Northumberland drivers may get furious about traffic jams, they are actually delayed less than the 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. As a comparison of delays per mile on A roads:
Northumberland, 19.9 seconds;
Lancashire, 39 seconds;
Bradford, 64 seconds;
West Sussex, 27.7 seconds;
Leeds, 49 seconds;
West Yorkshire, 52.2 seconds;
Peterbrough, 24 seconds.

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. 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 Northumberland drove along at 35.7mph, some of the fastest drivers in England. This was slower than the previous year by 3%.

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 £9billion a year.

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