Migration Watch Blames Population Boom for London Congestion

London
NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images

Migration Watch UK has suggested “immigration-driven population growth” is to blame for London’s status as the second-most gridlocked city in Europe after Moscow.

The migration-sceptic think tank was commenting on a study by traffic data firm Inrix reported earlier in 2018, which suggested that not only was London runner-up to Russia’s troubled capital in the gridlock stakes, but that the United Kingdom as a whole was the world’s number ten most-congested country.

It is likely that, if taken singly, England would be even higher up the rankings, as the United Kingdom’s other Home Nations are much less densely packed — particularly Scotland, with the wide expanses of its iconic but sparsely populated Highlands.

Quoting an observation from a BBC report on the Inrix study that “The UK is the world’s 10th most congested country and London is Europe’s second most gridlocked city after Moscow”, Migration Watch asked its Twitter followers: “Could it have anything to do with immigration-driven population growth where the equivalent of a new city arrives each year from overseas?”

Net annual immigration to the United Kingdom from the European Union, which is effectively unlimited and unvetted under the bloc’s Free Movement regime, was 74,000 in the year to June 2018 — a significant drop from previous years, due in part to the Brexit vote and in part to incomes in the poorer EU countries British employers had been sourcing low-paid workers from improving.

Non-EU net immigration, however, is at 14-year high of 248,000 — despite the Government having more or less full control it, and having promised in three consecutive General Elections to reduce total immigration “from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands”.

George Osborne, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer turned Evening Standard editor, bragged that the governments he served in under David Cameron never intended to control immigration, and that none of the senior members of the current Cabinet “supports the pledge [to reduce immigration] in private”.

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