There are 63 motorways in the UK and that’s before you start counting the A roads that have been upgraded. Traffic congestion is on the rise and we’re guessing that you and your drivers have spent a fair bit of time stuck in a queue somewhere. What effect does that have on your business and what can you do about it?
The good news is that increased traffic congestion often goes hand in hand with economic growth. The downside is that the time that your vehicles spend stuck in slow moving traffic is effectively wasted. A report published in February 2018 by US based firm Inrix found that the UK economy loses around £40 billion per year as a result of traffic congestion.
Busy roads have an impact on your delivery times but that’s not all. If your sales team are late for meetings that will create the wrong impression and potentially lose you a new client. It could also cause your drivers to be late for work. If that becomes persistent it creates disciplinary issues or even the need to recruit replacement staff. Your employees may avoid lateness by adding extra time to their journey ‘just in case’. That reduces the time available for more productive activities. There’s also the fact that a driver that’s been stuck in traffic is more likely to be stressed, which increases the risk of accidents.
If you want to reduce overall fleet spend traffic congestion is a significant challenge. Vehicles are spending time idling on busy routes which wastes fuel and increases the overall spend. Driving on congested roads involves more sudden acceleration and frequent braking which increases wear and tear on vehicles. There’s a wider impact on the environment too. Busy and congested roads lead to more air pollution.
It won’t surprise you to learn that the M25 is the UK’s slowest motorway, with an average travelling speed of just 25.05mph. The M4 takes second place.
The remainder of the top 5 slowest motorways act as regional spurs taking traffic from the major motorways. The M606 is just three miles long and takes motorists from the M62 into Bradford. The M621 loops between the M62 and the M1 outside Leeds. The M73 has an average travelling speed of just 43.71mph. However, it acts as a bypass around the East side of Glasgow so may actually reduce city centre congestion.
The only official statistics on the UK’s fastest roads relate to speeding convictions, so won’t necessarily be that helpful if your transport manager wants to plan faster routes. However, planning routes that are moving more freely allows your drivers to make more deliveries.
Our customers have found that using a GPS system is the ideal solution. The planning tools will identify areas of high congestion based on the time of travel and allow you to avoid them where possible.
Your transport manager will also have the ability to track vehicles in real time. They can then either notify drivers of congestion and even upload an amended route that avoids it.
If you’d like more advice on the right fleet management software system for your business, get in touch!