Slowest traffic in Medway on M2 coastbound between junctions 4 and 5


For drivers, the worst part of the commute is when you get stuck in traffic.

New government data reveals the roads to avoid in Medway to get to work on time, and whether delays are getting worse.

Yet experts from the RAC have said the delays may be “short-term pain for longer term gain” as work is carried out to improve motorways.

The slowest road for traffic in Medway has been revealed
The slowest road for traffic in Medway has been revealed

The Department for Transport figures show the M2 coastbound between junction 4 for Gillingham and junction 5 for Sittingbourne had the slowest moving traffic among the major roads in Medway in 2018.

Vehicles there travelled at an average of just 58.8mph – and this was 3% slower than in 2017, when speeds averaged 60.4mph.

At the other end of the scale, vehicles sped along the M2 coastbound between junction 1 for Rochester and junction 2 for Strood at an average of 69.7mph – making it the fastest section of road in the area.

The figures include measurements taken at 11 places on the strategic road network – major routes managed by government-owned company Highways England – in Medway.

They also show that the longest delays in the area were on the M2 coastbound between junction 4 and junction 5, with drivers losing 10.3 seconds every mile when compared with the pace they would have made at the speed limit.

Across England, motorists suffered a 3.9% increase in delays on motorways and major A roads last year.

Journeys took an average of 9.4 seconds per mile longer than if vehicles were able to drive at the speed limit, according to the DfT, up from nine seconds during the previous year.

It suggests that driving along a 10-mile section of road with a 60mph limit typically took 11 minutes and 34 seconds last year, compared with 10 minutes in free flow conditions.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “More congestion means more wasted time and money, which is clearly bad news for drivers, but it may be a case of short-term pain for longer term gain.

“Much work is being carried out on our motorways to improve capacity by upgrading them to smart motorways, but this inevitably causes delays.

“Nonetheless, extra capacity is badly needed as Britain now has around 38 million vehicles registered for use, and in the 10 years from 2007 more than four million extra vehicles came on to the road.”

A DfT spokeswoman said: “This government is determined to improve journeys for all motorists, which is why we’re investing nearly £29 billion to reduce congestion on our roads up to 2025.

“We are also investing £3.1 billion in local projects to make road travel smoother, while our £2.5 billion Transforming Cities Fund will develop innovative public transport schemes to further tackle congestion in some of England’s biggest cities.”

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