Traffic congestion is costing drivers hours in lost time and businesses more than a combined $3.5 billion in lost productivity across 10 of Australia's biggest cities, new data shows.Sydney tops the nation for lost time in traffic, with individual drivers spending, on average, an extra 156 hours in their cars each year at a cost of $1.04 billion.
Satellite navigation company TomTom released its annual congestion index on Tuesday showing Melbourne motorists weren't far behind, spending an extra 130 hours in traffic at a cost of $912 million."This is bad news for businesses," TomTom Telematics ANZ's Christopher Chisman-Duffy said on Tuesday.
"Not only is it costing them financially in lost hours but it can also impact on service level agreements and the customer experience, as well as the health and safety of their drivers."Despite its smaller population, Hobart ranks as the third-most congested city in the country at a cost of $80 million a year.
The report also found Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings to be the worst congestion, increasing travel times by 55 per cent and 58 per cent respectively.In Melbourne, the worst road for congestion was Richmond's Hoddle Street and Punt Road, which passes the MCG and carries significant amounts of traffic over the Yarra River.
The report took into account the number of commercial vehicles registered in each city, the minimum wage, and the amount of time vehicles were stuck in congested traffic, based on data from TomTom's devices.
* Sydney average of 156 hours a year lost at a cost of $1.04 billion* Melbourne 130 hours, $912 million
* Hobart 123 hours, $80 million* Brisbane 104 hours, $611 million
* Adelaide 99 hours, $249 million* Gold Coast 95 hours, $125 million
* Perth 94 hours, $433 million* Newcastle 85 hours, $24 million
* Canberra 80 hours, $43 million* Wollongong 61 hours, $22 million.
SOURCE: TomTom Traffic Index and Congestion Report