Why is traffic on my commute better on Friday mornings?
Stuck in traffic for hours during the week but at work in record time on a Friday, you're not alone my four-wheeled, commuting friend.
Asked by: Rebecca Ridley, Manchester
Many people think it’s easier to drive into work on Friday morning, the theory being that lots of people end their working week on Thursday so that they can take a long weekend. To find out if it’s just an urban myth, BBC Science Focus asked analysts at transportation consultancy INRIX to go through the traffic flow data for London, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester.
And it seems it’s true. Broadly speaking, travel times during rush hour are better on Friday mornings, and on Mondays, most likely for the same reason: people taking long weekends. The worst rush hours tend to be on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons – possibly because this is when most people are in the office, working to hit end-of-the-week deadlines.
That said, just how bad the rush hour is for any individual driver depends on both the city and the roads being used. For example, some roads in Birmingham are even slower than London black spots.
Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.