Motorists have ranked the UK the third-worst European country in which to drive.
The appalling state of our roads and sub-standard driver services saw the country finish ahead of only Romania and Ukraine in a table of 15 European countries.
The country’s poor standing in drivers’ eyes was revealed in the third annual Driver Satisfaction Index from Google-owned traffic app Waze.
Using data from millions of its users in 42 countries, the index uses a variety of measure to give each nation a single score ranging from a “satisfying” 10 to a “miserable” one.
Overall, the UK scored a mediocre 6.14, placing it 13th in Europe and 16th globally, behind the likes of the Netherlands, France, the United States, Latvia and Chile.
The study also found that Manchester, with an index of 5.71, was the worst city in the UK in which to be a driver. Ranked 152nd globally it was rated even worse than London (5.75) and Milton Keynes (6.19), which were ranked 149th and 133rd in the world respectively.
The index’s criteria cover the density and severity of traffic; the density of accidents, road hazards and weather; access to fuel stations and easy parking; the quality of roads and infrastructure; drivers’ access to cars and the impact of fuel prices; and, inevitably, the “happiness and helpfulness of the Waze community”.
The UK lagged behind the European average in every measure except safety, where its score of 9.58 was slightly ahead of the 9.55 average. While traffic across the entire continent is broadly similar, the UK fell down on the quality of its roads – 7.7 compared to Europe’s 9.85 – and driver services – 5.43 compared with the European average of 6.8.
Finlay Clark UK head of Waze commented: “While the global score for the UK has improved, it’s disappointing to see that of the 15 European countries surveyed, the UK has ranked the third worst place to drive. There is clearly still work to do.
“Of the UK cities surveyed, Birmingham was the only one to score above average and has the UK’s best rating for road quality. Bristol drivers were also quite satisfied, scoring the city a 6.31, which lands it second place in the UK, above Manchester, London and Milton Keynes.”
“Surprisingly, London is not the worst UK city. It beats Manchester, the UK’s worst, with a 5.75. However, congestion in London – as in other UK cities – continues to worsen. Waze data reveals that during 2016 speeds in the M25 region decreased by 12 per cent to just 17.4mph and the number of traffic jams that have been reported around the capital was up by 56 per cent last year.”