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Increased traffic congestion good news for bodyshops, NBRA says

Road traffic congestion is now far higher than it was last year as people have gone back into their cars after lockdown.

According to data gathered from roads outside London’s central congestion charging zone, it shows traffic climbed above 2019 levels in August, and has increased to nearly a fifth on average, even while it has dropped sharply in the centre of the city.

The National Body Repair Association (NBRA) has welcomed the data and says this is promising news for auto repair shops.

Chris Weeks, executive director of the NBRA commented: “Whilst there is no guarantee that this will result in increased accident claims, this is at the very least highly encouraging. With most of our members reporting repair volumes at around 70 per cent of pre-lockdown this increased congestion has the potential to significantly improve the level of instructions into their bodyshops.”

The most congested day so far was Monday, September 7, when congestion stood at 153 per cent above 2019 levels. That coincided with many schools returning to the classroom, and followed UK government messages pressing people to return to the office rather than continue to work from home, as millions of office workers had been doing.

Congestion within the central charging zone stood at just over half the levels of 2019, though this is still a substantial increase on the deserted streets seen in spring when the lockdown was biting. Congestion fell to just six per cent of the 2019 average on its lowest day, in early May.