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Traffic jams 'cost economy £9 billion in a year'

Credit: PA

Traffic jams on the UK's major roads cost the economy £9 billion in the past year, new figures reveal.

Analysis of queues found drivers faced 1.35 million traffic jams, costing them in wasted time, fuel and unnecessary carbon emissions.

The worst queue of the year was on August 4 on the M5 northbound near Junction 20 near Clevedon, Somerset.

Traffic tailed back 36 miles at the peak of the 15-hour jam, caused when an accident involving two lorries created a fuel spill and led to the closure of two lanes.

The analysis by transport data company Inrix found that during the 12 months to August found that November 2016 was the worst with almost 170,000 hold-ups - some 50% above average.

Inrix chief economist Dr Graham Cookson said: "There are so many factors that influence congestion levels it's hard to be certain why November was the worst month.

"We do know November 2016 was significantly colder than usual, in fact, the coldest month of the calendar year.

"The risk of ice on the road can lead to slower moving traffic and people are more inclined to take shelter in vehicles over cycling or walking in cold snaps."