If you think traffic congestion on UK roads was bad, you’re sorely mistaken — at least according to TomTom.

The satnav device maker reckons that UK cities don’t even rank in the top 10 when it comes to European congestion. In fact Istanbul tops the congestion list and the Turkish city is apparently 57% busier during peak times.

Leeds/Bradford is the most congested UK city, but it’s only 27% more congested during peak hours — and that places it 17th on the European list.

The information comes from TomTom’s quarterly ‘congestion index’ that it compiles from the traffic data it routinely collates for dissemination to its satnav users when they’re making a journey.

Warsaw sits in second place, being 45% busier at peak times, and Marseille is in third place with 40%.

Surprisingly, London is in second place when it comes to congested UK cities, but the Congestion charge and a comprehensive public transport network no doubt plays a part in that.

TomTom’s top 60 congested cities list includes nine from the UK, but Leeds/Bradford and London are the only two to make the top 20.

Congestion is reckoned to have rocked in Leeds/Bradford though, with a 10% increase compared to the same three months last year — that’s the highest increase in Europe.

Birmingham, 35th in the European table, has the second highest congestion increase — rising from a 17% at peak times to 20%.

Here’s what TomTom has to say about it: “With the support of millions of our customers we have captured anonymous travel time information in all the territories where we are active. We are now able to understand real life driving patterns by time of day, day of week, time of year and around special events.”

The full congestion index can be viewed on the TomTom site.

Top Ten European Cities for Congestion

  1. Istanbul (Turkey) – 57% busier at peak times than non-peak
  2. Warsaw (Poland) – 45%
  3. Marseille (France) – 40%
  4. Palermo (Italy) – 40%
  5. Rome (Italy) – 34%
  6. Paris (France) – 34%
  7. Stuttgart (Germany) – 33%
  8. Brussels (Belgium) – 32%
  9. Hamburg (Germany) – 32%
  10. Stockholm (Sweden) – 30%

Top Ten UK Cities for Congestion

  1. Leeds/Bradford – 27% busier at peak times than non-peak
  2. London – 26%
  3. Nottingham – 24%
  4. Manchester – 22%
  5. Birmingham – 20%
  6. Sheffield – 20%
  7. Newcastle-Sunderland – 20%
  8. Liverpool – 20%
  9. Glasgow – 17%