Drivers in Braintree wasted an average of 33 hours stuck in rush hour traffic last year, figures reveal.

The town ranked fifth in the country for the longest amount of time spent in traffic, beaten only by London, Manchester, Birmingham and Lincoln.

The UK was the world's 10th most congested country with an average of 31 hours stuck in traffic, costing the typical motorist £1,168, according to traffic analytics supplier Inrix.

This takes into account costs such as wasted fuel and time, as well as higher prices for household goods due to increased freighting fees being passed on to consumers.

Inrix chief economist Dr Graham Cookson said: "The cost of congestion is astonishing.

"It takes billions out of the economy and impacts businesses and individuals.

"The average figure for London is £2,430. That's many times more than what it costs me to insure my car and the cost of the fuel I put in it."

Braintree and Witham Times:

PA graphic

Braintree residents spent 21 per cent of their time in congestion during peak hours, classed as between 6am and 9am and from 4pm to 7pm on weekdays.

It’s likely commuters spent most of their time on the A120 and A12, or crawling along at a snail’s pace through the town centre.

But traffic was considerably better at noon, where just eight per cent of time was spent in congestion.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: "The Government is taking the big decisions for Britain's future, underlined by our record £23 billion for road schemes - the biggest investment in a generation.

"This will help cut congestion, shorten journey times, and boost economic growth.

"We are also giving councils record amounts of capital funding - more than £7.1 billion up to 2021, which will help to upgrade and maintain local roads up and down the country.

"Alongside this, we've announced plans for a new major road network that will give councils access to a multi-billion pound fund to improve or replace the most important A-roads in their area."