London commuters are literally wasting days of their lives in traffic

Back to the grind.
Back to the grind.
Image: Reuters/Luke MacGregor
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The back-to-school transition has terrible repercussions for European drivers. City roads, blissfully quiet over the summer months, are once again getting swamped, as school-run traffic meets commuter traffic in the early morning hours of September.

Studies have found that commuting makes us unhappy. Spare a moment, then, to pity the poor Londoner.

London’s heavy traffic, huge size—it’s both sprawling and populous—and often-convoluted road systems make it the worst city for car commuters in terms of time lost in traffic. Drivers in London wasted an average of 101 hours stuck in traffic last year, according to data released (pdf) this week by Eurostat, the European Union statistics office. That’s the equivalent of four entire days.

The data take in 12 countries, so don’t account for every city in Europe. But the biggest urban areas, like Paris in France, are included.

Perhaps it’s time to start cycling to work.