Squeezed Southern Motorists Should Visit Orkney To Experience The Open Road
6 September 2017, 06:49
Motorists seeking the freedom of the road should visit a group of Scottish islands, new figures show.
The 21,850-population of the Orkney Islands has an average of 49 metres (160ft) of road per person, which is more than anywhere else in Britain, according to Press Association analysis of Department for Transport data.
Orkney motorists also enjoy the highest quality roads in Scotland with nearly 80% in good or acceptable condition, a recent study found.
Other local authority areas in the top 10 for length of road per person include the Shetland Islands (45m/147ft per person), Powys (40.7m/133ft per person) and Dumfries and Galloway (31.7m/104ft per person).
England's highest entries are Herefordshire (17.7m/58ft per person) and Devon (16.7m/55ft per person).
The area with the smallest amount of road per population in Britain is east London's Tower Hamlets where there is just 0.9 metres (3ft) per person, not including incoming commuters and delivery drivers.
South-east England dominates the bottom of the list, with the lowest 27 entries all in the capital.
This is partly due to a surge in the number of inner-London residents. The number of households in this area increased by 78,000 from 2011 to 2015, which is the equivalent of dropping the population of Portsmouth into the centre of the city.
Data from traffic information supplier Inrix shows that London is the most congested city in western Europe, costing the economy £6.2 billion last year.
AA president Edmund King said: "These figures show that millions of residents in the South East don't even get three metres of road per person, while those in some rural areas get access to more than 10 times that.
The squeeze on road space, particularly in London, manifests itself from the M25 motorway to the workplace to parking at home.
"AA research has found that, even when they get home, 20% of people fret about finding a parking space and up to 13% put off trips to avoid losing the parking spot outside their house.
"In London, that rises to 36% suffering parking paranoia and 24% sometimes abandoning trips."