The Government today told highway chiefs to reduce motorway closure times following new research revealing that traffic jams on UK’s major roads costs the economy £9bn a year. Finlay Clark, UK Head of Waze says technology can also help combat the cost of congestion, which is made up of wasted time, fuel and resulting carbon emissions. He says:

“It’s disappointing to see that the economic cost of congestion has increased to £9bn a year due to traffic jams. While the Government’s efforts to reduce motorway closure times is a step in the right direction, we at Waze know that smart data sharing improves traffic flow and reduces the unnecessary cost of congestion.

“By harnessing the insights of more than 1.8 million monthly active users, along with data-driven enterprise partnerships, Waze provides information to users in real time, helping them re-route around traffic jams and work together to improve urban mobility in Britain.

“Wazers report things faster than traditional sources, so they are the early warning system. Traffic is a group problem and we need to work together to solve it. The app works in a way which means that users will avoid traffic jams. If you are on the motorway and you land in a traffic jam - it's too late.

“Understanding congestion in real-time is key to tackling the problem and Waze are working with city planners to improve the situation. The two-way exchange sees councils provide construction, collision and road closure data to Waze so that the app can provide this information to drivers in real time. By using the platform to alert drivers to disruptions early, traffic flow improves and traffic jams become avoidable.  

“Waze shares live data with over 500 global municipal partners in its Connected Citizen Program, including Transport for London and Oxfordshire Country Council in the UK. We’re also piloting carpooling in Israel and the US with the aim of helping take cars off the road, which helps lower journey times and reduce economic costs.”

“We urge people to consider how technology can help ease congestion and hope they get involved and stay informed. Heavy congestion causing slow moving, stop-start traffic which has an environmental impact too – having more Wazers on board can help to reduce this.