Edinburgh drivers crawl through their commute at just 6.64mph

Edinburgh commuters have a toil to get to work by car. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor
Edinburgh commuters have a toil to get to work by car. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor
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Edinburgh is one of the slowest cities in the UK in which to drive, with cars typically moving at less than a third of the speed limit in the city centre, a report has revealed.

Drivers travelling within a one-mile radius of the centre of the capital reach an average of just 6.64mph – the slowest after London and Manchester. In Glasgow, speeds are only marginally higher at 6.84mph, having dropped from 8.56mph a year ago.

The study, by telematics firm In-car Cleverness, analysed nearly 400,000 journeys between April and June in 2016 and 2017, measuring average miles per hour achieved when driving within a five-mile radius of major city centres between 6am and 8pm.

The analysis came before the introduction of the first phase of Edinburgh’s £2.2 million 20mph speed limit scheme in July last year.

Even within a five-mile radius of the centre of the capital, which reaches to outlying areas such as Hillend and Newcraighall, as well as parts of the City Bypass, commuters are still facing typical speeds of just 12.38mph.

In Glasgow, motorists can travel at an average speed of 15.79mph within five miles of the city centre – the fastest in the UK. London, however, showed the worst performance, with an average of just 5.13mph achieved by drivers in the heart of the city.

Paul O’Dowd, head of sales at In-car Cleverness, said: “The figures paint a stark picture of how everyday commuters, drivers and even businesses are struggling to get around or operate in some of the biggest hubs in the UK.”

Councillor Nick Cook, Conservative transport spokesman, said the figures raise further questions over the decision to roll out 20mph speed limits across the city over the past year.

Edinburgh City Council transport convenor Lesley MacInnes said last night: “Our own research has shown support for the [20mph] scheme, which will not only make our roads safer, but will create a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere on streets.

“We’re confident that, as the changes bed in, its benefits will become all the more apparent.”