An increase in cycle lanes during the coronavirus pandemic contributed to London becoming the world’s most congested city, new analysis shows.
Drivers in the capital will lose an average of 148 hours stuck in jams across the whole of 2021, according to traffic information supplier Inrix.
That is just 1% down on pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, a much smaller decline than many other major cities.
Last year, London was ranked only the 16th most congested city. A cycling charity says blaming new cycle lanes is “incredibly simplistic”.
In 2021, Paris was in second place in the global ranking for most congestion (140 hours lost), followed by Brussels (134 hours lost), Moscow (108 hours lost) and New York (102 hours lost).
New cycle lanes were installed in London last year following the coronavirus outbreak to encourage active travel.
Several councils reversed the schemes following vocal opposition by motorists who claimed they caused delays, but some of the lanes remain in place.
Across the UK as a whole, drivers will waste an average of 73 hours in traffic this year.
That is up 36 hours from 2020, but down 42 hours compared with pre-Covid 2019.