Congestion is costing van users more than a month of work time, according to new research from Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Delivery drivers say that, on average, 16% of their working day is lost due to congestion, which means - based on an eight hour working day - this equates to one hour and 17 minutes per day, or more than six hours across a typical working week; adding up to 37 working days a year lost due to congestion for the average delivery driver.
Greater London tops the congestion league, with respondents saying 18% of their working day is lost to congestion.
The research, undertaken amongst 2,000 van owners and operators in the UK, also highlights that congestion is now the second biggest barrier to growth, with 31% believing it will be a barrier to growth in the coming year, rising to 38% amongst fleet managers, and second only to rising fuel costs (57%).
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, putting additional pressure on the road 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.
Steve Bridge, managing director, Mercedes-Benz Vans, said: “Anyone who has travelled along the M6 recently will fully understand the frustrations felt by our hard working van drivers – the amount of roadworks dotted all along the motorway is causing significant congestion issues, not least the stresses it puts time-sensitive couriers and distribution drivers under.
“We know from our Business Barometer that a growing customer base ever more focused on online retail is a positive for the industry, but unless the issue of congestion is tackled, these businesses will suffer. Congestion causes delays that cost money as well as time and can damage the reputation of business that rely on their deliveries.
“This is a key issue for the van driving/owning community so we hope that the trade associations and Government organisations reading this will continue to take note of the opinion and sentiment of van owners and operators and listen to their concerns.”