M5 link named the worst UK bottleneck

A section of the M5 heading towards the M6 at Birmingham is the worst UK traffic bottleneck, according to a congestion index out today.

M5 traffic. Photo: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

A section of the M5 heading towards the M6 at Birmingham is the worst UK traffic bottleneck, according to a congestion index out today.

The Birmingham-bound section of the M5 was found to be jammed 63 hours a week in 2009/10, with an average speed below 15mph when congested.

The index by traffic information company INRIX said that if you happened to be driving on this stretch on a Friday from 5pm to 6pm you could conceivably ride your bike faster than your car, with an average speed of only 8mph.

The bottleneck findings will come as no surprise to West Midland motorists who have been facing long running traffic problems as work to tackle congestion is carried out on the M6.

It is part of the ongoing work to deliver the managed motorways scheme, which will open up the hard shoulder between junctions 8 for the M5 and 10A at Wolverhampton.

The index also revealed that Wednesday is the worst day for traffic jams and that UK drivers spend more time in traffic compared with drivers in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Holland. London ranks second after Paris as the most traffic-clogged city among the six countries analysed.

Looking at the UK, the index showed that the worst commuting hour for drivers is 8am to 9am on Mondays, with Friday having the worst evening commute.

However, despite the amount of evening jams, Friday is the best weekday for traffic. Meanwhile, the most congestion-free weekday commuting hour is 6am to 7am on Fridays.