The cost of traffic congestion to UK businesses increased by nearly £150m in 2017, research by TomTom has revealed.

The TomTom Traffic Index figures show that road congestion causes roughly £915m in lost productivity each year, an increase of £767m from the previous year’s study.

In the UK’s top 25 most congested towns and cities, each vehicle spends an average of 129 more hours per year on the road. That amounts to average commercial drivers spending 16 working days in traffic throughout the course of the year, representing an estimated loss of £915m for UK businesses.

Worsening traffic conditions were also highlighted, with the average journey taking 30% more time, up from 25% in 2010.

“Traffic remains a serious issue for business and the resulting delays have potential implications for productivity, customer service standards and even employee wellbeing,” said Beverley Wise, TomTom Telematics’ UK & Ireland director.

“Unfortunately, congestion levels continue to rise and the UK economy is paying the price for this at a time when the landscape is already challenging enough, with the growth rate now expected to be just 1.5% this year.

“But, although solutions to the wider traffic problem are incredibly complex, businesses can take action now to mitigate its effect by using data to develop smarter working schedules and shift patterns that help employees avoid driving at peak times.

“Technology such as telematics can help in the move towards a more dynamic model of routing and scheduling that uses data on traffic and journey times to develop plans that minimise time on the road and can be quickly adapted in reaction to delays or changing circumstances.”

The areas most affected financially were London – losing £264m to traffic annually – followed by Manchester (£169m) and Birmingham, inclusive of Wolverhampton (£144).