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The cost of traffic to London’s economy totals more than £5bn a year, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has revealed.

The calculation is based on new INRIX data which shows that the average London driver spent 148 hours stuck in traffic during 2021. The value of missed earnings and leisure time drivers could be enjoying, if they were not stuck in traffic, equates to £1,211 per driver or £5.1bn annually, according to the analysis.

The new economic impact report comes as Khan underlines his ambition to get more Londoners walking, cycling, and using public transport as the capital emerges from the Omicron COVID wave.

Car use in the capital has remained high throughout the pandemic even as trips by public transport dropped 14 per cent between 2019 and 2020, TfL has said. Public transport, usage was close to pre-pandemic levels for much of the latter half of 2021, according to data from a range of sources, but car use has remained stubbornly high.

The impact of increased traffic on London’s roads results in significant health and environmental impacts, including increased risk of respiratory diseases. Pollution leads to 4,000 Londoners dying early each year, all of which increases the economic and resource burden on the health service.

More than a third of car trips made by Londoners could be walked in under 25 minutes and two thirds could be cycled in under 20 minutes, according to the new analysis.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “While we have made huge strides in increasing walking and cycling in London throughout the pandemic, car use has remained consistently high. If we do not double down on our efforts to deliver a greener, more sustainable future we will replace one public health crisis with another – caused by filthy air and gridlocked roads.”

As Mayor, Khan has introduced a number of measures to encourage London’s drivers to use greener alternatives, including the recent expansion of the city’s ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) in October.

Silviya Barrett, head of policy and research at Campaign for Better Transport, said the reduction in use of public transport highlighted the need for further investment in active and public transport options. “Traffic congestion is bad for our health, bad for business and bad for the planet, so it is crucial that we keep up efforts to reduce car use in the capital to ensure a green recovery,” she said. “Making more journeys by public transport and active travel is key to tackling congestion and cleaning up London’s air, as well as helping to reduce carbon emissions, so it is regrettable that the share of journeys by public transport in particular has decreased as a result of the pandemic.”