DRIVERS are likely to spend nearly five days a year stuck in traffic and waste nearly £1,000 because of congestion, a new report has revealed.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils, is calling for more funding and powers to be given to local authorities to tackle problems on our roads.

Initiatives such as Oxfordshire County Council’s efforts to combat congestion by working with smart technology are highlighted as one of the potential solutions.

Councillor Judith Blake, LGA Transport spokesperson, said: “Congestion can have a significant impact on our towns, cities and communities, and act as a drag on local growth. Worse still, it can lead to toxic air and reduced quality of life.

“When the average motorist is spending a working week every year sat in traffic on major roads, and losing almost a £1,000 in the process, it’s clear that councils need to be able to do more to tackle this growing problem.”

The LGA’s report found that the average speed on an A road is just 25.2mph, 1 per cent slower than it was this time last year.

This is leading to increased air pollution, which leads to 40,000 premature deaths annually, and will cost the economy £300 billion a year by 2030.

Earlier this year Oxfordshire County Council became the second authority in the UK to partner with Waze, a traffic smartphone app that helps to tackle congestion.

Drivers using the app - which works as a sat nav - passively give information using GPS and can report crashes and roadworks which are then passed onto other drivers, helping them to avoid the most congested routes.