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UK roads become more congested as online shopping increases

22 February 2017 - 09:27 by Mike Price

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British people who regularly commute by road can expect to waste 32 hours a year as a result of congestion, according to the latest figures from the AA.

The Telegraph reports that this equates to a total annual cost of £31 billion caused by traffic, putting the UK in third position when it comes to the list of the most congested countries in Europe.

Analysts claim that the dramatic increase in the number of people who order items via safe shopping online has had a transformative impact on the number of vehicles on the roads, especially over the past half decade. From electrical goods and fashion items to groceries, the web has made delivery vans a far more common sight in towns and cities across the UK.

Report spokesperson, Ian Crowder, said that this has also been reflected in the rapid growth of LCV registrations in the UK, with businesses snapping up vans as they attempt to meet the increased demand for shopping online.

There are other issues to consider aside from congestion, with the report pointing out that the diesel-powered vehicles that deliver products ordered from e-commerce sites are generating more pollution and causing air quality to decline in urban centres.

London is suffering the biggest traffic boost, with Manchester sitting in second place, just ahead of Aberdeen in Scotland and Birmingham in the midlands.

The only countries in the EU with worse congestion problems than the UK are Turkey and Russia. Now experts argue that more businesses should embrace flexible working opportunities in order to lessen the strain that is being put on the nation’s transport infrastructure.

Digital technologies are making it easier for people to remain productive even when they are out of the office. So the good news for shoppers is that there is no suggestion that they should cut down on their online retail habits.