This is how bad traffic delays really are in Sunderland

Drivers are held up a minute for every two miles they cover in Sunderland – but they are still some of the shortest delays in England.

Monday, 24th June 2019, 11:11 am
Drivers are held up a minute for every two miles they cover in Sunderland. Picture: PA

As figures are released showing the length of delays across the country, the Local Government Association has called for more funding and greater powers to reduce road congestion.

Cars and vans were delayed by an average of 31.4 seconds every mile along Sunderland's A-roads last year, according to data from the Department for Transport.

LGA transport spokesman Martin Tett said there had been "underinvestment" in local roads. He added: "It would already take £9.8 billion and over 10 years for councils to clear the current local road repairs backlog.

"Councils also need extra funding to plug the £650 million gap in concessionary fares payments councils get from the Government.

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"Having to fill this gap means less support for bus services which relieve congestion."

Between 2015 and 2018, the waiting time faced by each driver in Sunderland rose from 29.2 to 31.4 seconds for every mile travelled. That's an increase of 7.5 per cent, compared to 9.6 per cent in the North East and 6.1 per cent nationwide.

Across England, drivers waited the longest in the City of London, where the average hold-up last year was nearly 5 minutes for every mile.

Rutland, in East Midlands, had the shortest waiting time, at only 12.4 seconds per mile. According to the figures, the worst time to hit the road across England is on weekdays between 4pm and 7pm.

Over the 12 months ending March 2019, the period with the latest statistics available, the average speed for vehicles travelling during the end-of-workday rush was 22.2 mph.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said: "We recognise the role played by other modes of transport in reducing congestion – modernising our railways through a record £48 billion investment, tripling cycling and walking investment per head since 2010, and investing £2.5 billion through the Transforming Cities Fund to develop innovative public transport schemes in some of England's biggest cities."