Preston rated one of the most congested cities in UK

Drivers have suffered delays due to roadworks on Eastway
Drivers have suffered delays due to roadworks on Eastway
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Preston was one of the most congested towns and cities in the UK last year, a study has found.

Drivers battling congested traffic in Preston face a 20% increase in travel times compared with journeys on free flow roads, according to traffic analysts TomTom.

Preston appeared 25th on the list of most congested towns and cities in the UK - news which will come as no surprise to commuters who have suffered delays due to roadworks on Eastway and around the Broughton bypass.

The study also found that the UK was the second most congested country in the world, behind China, with 11 of the 100 most gridlocked cities.

Belfast topped the list of most congested cities in the UK, with a 43% increase in travel times, closely followed by Edinburgh and London (both 40%).

Ralf-Peter Schaefer, vice president of TomTom Traffic, said the study was "designed to help drivers, cities and transport planners to understand traffic congestion and, most importantly, how to reduce it".

Separate research by traffic information firm Inrix published on Monday found that the direct and indirect costs of congestion in the UK reached £31 billion last year, at an average of £968 per driver.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "We are making the most extensive improvements to roads since the 1970s, investing a record £23 billion to keep our country moving and make journeys faster, better and more reliable for everyone.

"As announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement, we are also spending a further £1.3 billion over the course of this Parliament to relieve congestion and provide important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future."

In 2015, Moor Lane, Strand Road and Deepdale Road were all ranked in the top 10 for the slowest average commutes in Lancashire according to a report by the Department of Transport .

- Here are the 25 most congested towns and cities in the UK last year, with increase in travel time compared with free flow roads in brackets:

1. Belfast (43%)

2. Edinburgh (40%)

3. London (40%)

4. Manchester (38%)

5. Brighton and Hove (36%)

6. Bournemouth (36%)

7. Sheffield (35%)

8. Hull (35%)

9. Bristol (34%)

10. Newcastle-Sunderland (32%)

11. Leicester (32%)

12. Liverpool (30%)

13. Swansea (29%)

14. Glasgow (29%)

15. Cardiff (27%)

16. Nottingham (27%)

17. Birmingham-Wolverhampton (26%)

18. Leeds-Bradford (26%)

19. Portsmouth (25%)

20. Southampton (25%)

21. Reading (24%)

22. Coventry (23%)

23. Stoke-on-Trent (22%)

24. Middlesbrough (22%)

25. Preston (20%)