SCOTLAND has the second and third most congested roads in the UK outside of London, a new report has revealed.

Drivers face daily traffic jams and hold-ups on a five-mile stretch of Costorphine Road in ­Edinburgh, according to new data from a traffic information company.

Meanwhile, similar problems occur between junction 13 and junction 19 on the M8, where traffic leaves the motorway to approach the city centre.

Loading article content

Each year, long-suffering motorists spend more than 30 hours stuck in traffic in the capital, while those travelling on the M8 waste 26 hours on average.

The report by Inrix said that all of the top ten most congested roads in the UK were in London. However, outside the capital, the M6 at Birmingham was identified as the worst road for gridlock, followed by the two Scottish routes.

Other hotspots north of the Border that crept onto the list of top ten most congested roads included eight miles of the M8 at Cardonald and a four-mile section of the A720 between Musselburgh services and Wester Hailes in Edinburgh.

AA spokesman Luke Bosdet said: "We know that the number of cars on the roads has been going down since the start of the credit crunch in 2007, so these figures come as a surprise.

"It is likely they represent a failure by the authorities to deal with pinch points and provide public transport services which make people want to get out of their cars and take buses and trains."

On average, UK drivers spent a total of 30 hours in traffic congestion in 2013 - one hour more than in 2012.

The London commute zone had the biggest increase in hours wasted, rising from 72 hours in 2012 to 82 hours last year.

Of the 25 of the most congested cities in Europe for urban traffic, London was second only to ­Brussels, where the average motorist spends 83 hours a year stuck in traffic.

After the London commute zone, the most congested areas were Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Nottinghamshire and Greater Birmingham.

Overall, the UK was the sixth-worst congested country for traffic in 2013, with Belgium top (58 hours wasted in jams), followed by the Netherlands (44 hours), Germany and France (both 35 hours) and Luxembourg (31 hours).

However, Inrix president and chief ­executive Bryan Mistele said there was a good sign from the figures. He said: "So goes traffic, so goes the economy. While bad news for drivers, the rises in traffic congestion in Europe are signs of a slowly recovering economy."

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: "Since 2007, we have invested over £2.6 billion to maintain and improve our trunk roads and motorways in Scotland with a further £700 million committed for trunk road investment this year alone. Over £108m of this has been invested specfically to maintain and improve the M8 with a further £6.6m earmarked for this purpose this financial year.

"More widely, we have only in recent days, concluded a £500m deal which will see the remaining 10km of the key route between Glasgow and Edinburgh upgaded to full motorway standard.

"When finished, this will reduce journey times along the M8 by around 20 minutes in peak periods, improve road safety, free up more road space, and the road infrastructure developed to support sustainable transport initiatives."