Road Congestion: yet another threat to local economies

Yet  another threat to local economies

It’s no secret that the nation’s roads are blighted by congestion, day-in, day-out. Depending on what time of day you read this article, chances are, you experienced congestion this morning on the way to work, or this evening on the way home. It’s frustrating, but it’s only set to increase over the coming years. To ensure the arteries of the UK’s logistics network aren’t further strained as more and more Brits take up professional driving positions, something needs to change.

The impact on Britain’s businesses

According to the Mercedes-Benz Vans ‘Business Barometer’, delivery drivers say that, on average, 16% of their working day is lost due to congestion. When considering an average eight hour working day, this equates to roughly 37 working days a year in lost time – a shocking statistic for businesses everywhere.

Indeed, from our research, which questioned 2,000 van drivers, owners and operators across the UK, 31% said they believe congestion will be a direct hindrance to their business growth, which rises to 38% among fleet owners. The other main transport related growth barriers that were highlighted in the barometer included rising fuel costs (57%), vehicle expenditure (29%), driver shortages (21%), increasing customer demand (16%) and servicing ‘down time’ (10%).

Further to this, more than half (55%) of owners and operators said they plan on increasing the number of vans they own or operate within the next 12 months, which will only add to the strain on the UK’s business network.  With the delivery economy on the rise, business operators are citing growing customer bases (47%), continuing growth of online shopping (40%) and a shift away from heavy goods vehicles as the main reason they’ll be investing in bigger fleets.

So, what’s being done to ease the strain?

To meet the needs of expanding cities, growing businesses and increasing numbers of commuters, the way we consider transport needs to evolve.  At Mercedes-Benz Vans, we’re striving to answer the questions of future mobility – and our exciting new concept tackles the issues head on.  Vision URBANETIC is an autonomous, electric, intelligent and flexible idea that’s set to revolutionise urban mobility. The concept reduces traffic flows, relieves inner-city infrastructures and contributes to an improved quality of urban life with interchangeable bodies depending on the function required – either people moving or goods transport.

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