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Last Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008, 06:34 GMT
Congestion hitting West Midlands
By Peter Plisner
BBC Midlands Today transport correspondent

Stuck in the Middle logo
More than two thirds of people in the West Midlands say congestion has an impact on their day-to-day life.

The figures were revealed in an ICM poll commissioned by BBC Midlands Today for a special series called Stuck in the Middle.

The poll suggests that 29% of those asked said congestion had a major impact on their lives, while a further 42% indicated that congestion affected them a little.

It has been estimated that about two-and-a-half million people commute to work in the West Midlands every day.

Congestion costs the region's economy more than 2bn per year, including the lost business because of the delays.

Traffic congestion does not just have an impact on car commuters. Many people complain that even when they travel by bus, they still get caught in traffic jams.

'Remove tolls'

Government figures suggest that 71% of workers travel to work by car, while less than 15% use public transport.

The average commute to work is about one hour, but one in 10 commuters have a daily journey in excess of two hours.

Would you say that traffic congestion affects your day to day life a lot, a little or not at all?
A lot - 29%
A little - 42%
Not at all - 29%
Congestion in the region appears to be getting worse, despite the construction of new roads such as M6 Toll.

Many drivers opt to join the queues on the existing M6, rather than use the toll-motorway.

The price of using the pay-as-you-drive highway recently went up. Car drivers now pay 4.50, while the price for HGVs is 9.

There have been calls for tolls on roads and bridges to be removed to help ease congestion.

It has also emerged that despite improvements in technology, including wider availability of low-cost broadband, the numbers of people opting to work from home is still relatively low.

Most recent surveys suggest that less than 10% of the UK workforce home-work at some point during their working week.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
There are are 2.5 million commuters in the Midlands





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