Manchester '˜most congested city outside London'

Manchester suffers the worst congestion of anywhere in England outside London, according to new transport research.

Liverpool is in second place, followed by Birmingham, Portsmouth/Southampton and Nottingham, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) said.

The analysis compared the ease of driving from one part of a city or area to another at peak and off-peak times.

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The first location to appear in the ranking which is not a primary urban area - as defined by the Centre for Cities - is Accrington/Rossendale, in Lancashire, which appears at number 26.

NIC chairman Sir John Armitt said the fact the cities occupy the first 25 spots demonstrates the need for major new investment in urban transport networks.

The organisation’s National Infrastructure Assessment recommends that more powers are devolved to metro mayors and local leaders to improve urban transport, backed by £43 billion of funding to 2040 on top of current spending plans.

Sir John said: “From Manchester to Bournemouth our cities are facing gridlock - creating misery for people trying to get from A to B.

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“Trying to tackle this from London won’t work. Our metro mayors and city leaders need to be in the driving seat to develop local solutions.

“In our National Infrastructure Assessment - the first of its kind for the UK - we’ve called for powers and increased funding to be devolved from Whitehall to local leaders.

“This will give the people who know their cities best the tools they need to improve urban transport and support the delivery of new employment opportunities and homes.”

The NIC is an independent organisation established to advise the Government on how to meet the UK’s infrastructure needs.

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AA president Edmund King said: “Private car ownership is still strong, and will remain a fact of life in cities for decades. Unless councils provide attractive, reliable alternatives, traffic jams will remain a fixture of city life.

“Improving public transport, cycling and walking provision should be the aim rather than just restricting access to some vehicles.”

Here are the 10 most congested areas of England outside London, according to the NIC:

1. Manchester

2. Liverpool

3. Birmingham

4. Portsmouth/Southampton

5. Nottingham

6. Leeds

7. Bristol

8. Brighton

9. Leicester

10. Bournemouth