Britain’s most stressful cities to drive in revealed

Covered mag, presented by
  • | by Kristian Dando

Insurance firm AXA reckons that Newcastle is the most stressful location in Britain to drive in.

Over the course of 700 miles and one week, taking in some of the UK’s most patience-sapping hotspots, driver David Dutton was wired up to a device which measured his heart rate. Newcastle confronted Dutton with numerous lane changes, tail-gating, drivers cutting up others and agitated motorists, making it the most stressful spot of the week.

Leeds on the other hand, saw his heart rate peak at a positively languid 90 bpm. A flustered David said: “It doesn’t surprise me that Newcastle came out on top. I am sure that a lapse in concentration would have resulted in me either taking the wrong lane and going the wrong way or getting into an accident. There were cars everywhere. Leeds was a pleasure in comparison, despite narrow lanes and numerous lane changes the drivers seemed to be courteous and aware of those around them.”

It wasn’t just Newcastle that David didn’t like. “The Magic Roundabout in Swindon was an experience - I had a near miss on M4/M5 interchange and I saw the aftermath of an accident in Manchester. I needed to be switched on throughout each journey,” he recalled. “I got the train home after the experiment and I’ve never been so happy to be on public transport!”

Amanda Edwards from AXA car insurance said: “These results just go to show how stressful driving can be. It’s important for drivers to be aware of other road users and be considerate at all times to make driving in rush hour as pleasant and as safe as it can be. Keeping calm and being patient is crucial, and will help you reach your destination safely."

Here's the list of locations David Dutton visited, ranked in order of how stressed they made him.

  1. Newcastle
  2. Manchester
  3. Cardiff
  4. Birmingham
  5. M4/M5 Interchange
  6. London – Piccadilly Circus
  7. Edinburgh
  8. Swindon
  9. Glasgow
  10. Leeds