Procurement · 13 November 2015

The average speed for a morning commute is slower than a Second World War Panzer III tank

The average speed on UK roads has been on the decline since March 2012
The average speed on UK roads has been on the decline since March 2012
The department for transport’s latest congestion study found the average speed in a car at peak times on weekday morning is 23.6mph in England making it slower than a Second World War Panzer III tank, which had a top speed of 24mph.

It also announced that traffic increased for the tenth quarter in succession, with the average speed on UK roads on the decline since March 2012. The study suggested the rise in traffic half a per cent slower than the previous quarter was due to the growing economy.

At a regional level, all drivers in England travelled at slower speeds in the morning than they did during the same period last year. London experienced the biggest slow down, dropping 4.5 per cent on the same quarter from 2014.

The study also revealed the average speed in London was 14.8mph, which is slower than the maximum speed of an electric bicycle. This could be partly attributed to the wider rollout of 20mph speed zones across the capital, in an effort to improve road safety. Other things possibly faster than your morning commute if you live in London include a tractor travelling at top speed of 25mph, and Usain Bolt running at his fastest (approximately 27.79mph).


The data was collected by measuring averaging speeds vehicles achieved during the busiest hours on weekday mornings, between 7am and 10am. Weekdays that fall during school holiday periods are excluded.

RAC’s head of external affairs, Pete Williams, said: Our roads are getting busier, meaning the network each morning is under real strain in certain locations. Many improvement schemes are already underway and further investment is just around the corner, but it will certainly be a case of congestion having to get worse before it gets better.

He warned that weary motorists are likely to feel more ‘rushtration’ on their morning commute for a while yet.

Williams said it was absolutely critical? that the investment into A-roads is protected and that the government should push ahead with identifying key pinch points? for a second road investment strategy.



Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.

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