The Daily Mail reports that gridlock on Britain’s roads is costing families £500 a year in wasted time and fuel. $800 U.S. dollars. This represents a more comprehensive way to assessing costs than from previous studies, for it includes indirect costs from businesses passing along the costs to end-users. From the INRIX summary: “These costs are a result of the direct impact of traffic on drivers in terms of wasted time and fuel as well as indirect costs to U.K. households resulting from businesses passing these same costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices.”
Sounds like the Brits need to abandon their sprawling car-centric ways and adopt Smart Growth, right? Well, as ADC friend Phil Hayward says: “The UK under its Town and Country Planning system, after 60 years, has attained several targets that urban planning fads aim for. It has the highest urban densities of any western nations. It has the most compact urban form. It has very high petrol taxes and massive subsidies of commuter rail and subway systems.”
In other words, it exemplifies Smart Growth. Consequently, Great Britain also has the West’s “least affordable housing, in spite of the lowest land consumption per person; the west’s greatest social exclusion, particularly from home ownership, the west’s worst traffic congestion delays, the west’s longest trip-to-work times, and the west’s worst local air pollution.” (By contrast, the U.S. with much lower densities has the most affordable housing and much shorter trip-to-work times.