Any fleet with freight to move in Europe, would be well advised to avoid London and Paris. That’s one of the conclusions drawn from a study of European traffic congestion by Inrix, a provider of traffic services.

“Our business is built on knowing what’s going on with traffic day in and day out in 20 countries,” said Hans Puvogel, GM of Inrix Europe. “The scorecard, and the data powering the report, will contribute enormously to a better understanding of traffic congestion on roads, helping governments and businesses free people and commerce from gridlock.”

Inrix supplies traffic data to Ford Motor Co., TomTom, MapQuest, Microsoft, and TeleNav to name just a few clients. The company offers statistical analysis of traffic data gleaned from various public and private sources.

Drivers in Manchester spend an average of 72 hours per year stuck in traffic, slightly more than the 70 hours drivers in Paris spend, although Paris ranks as the most clogged city in the six European countries studied (U.K., France, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg).

London is the second most clogged city, according to the study, with drivers spending an average of 54 hours per year in traffic.

“While traffic outside of the Paris region isn’t nearly as bad as in other European countries, the fact that eight of Europe’s Top 10 worst bottlenecks are located in Ile de France shows that traffic has a significant impact on the French economy, the environment as well as the mobility of its citizens,” said Puvogel.

Each of the studied countries showed some unique characteristics. For instance, in England, the worst commuting hour is Monday morning between 8 and 9 a.m. and the worst evening commute is Friday afternoon. Wednesday was cited as the best traffic day.

In Germany, though, the worst traffic day is Thursday, which also is the day for the worst morning commute and the worst evening commute. The best day of the week for traffic is Friday.

French drivers have an easy time of it on Mondays, but the Tuesday morning commute is the worst of the week and traveling on a Thursday is the worst time, according to the study. Thursday was also the worst day for travel in both Belguim and The Netherlands.

In Utrecht, The Netherlands, drivers will sit in traffic for 75 hours per year. Arnhem (67 hours), Den Haag (61) and Amsterdam (65) are also notoriously tough commutes, in that country, Inrix said.

“Randstad, Arnhem and Utrecht rank among the most congested urban areas in Europe where drivers waste more than 65 hours per year, over one full work week, in traffic,” said Puvogel.

On average, the study revealed that drivers in the U.K. can expect a Travel Time Tax (T3)-- the amount of time it takes to travel on a congested road as opposed to the same road during uncongested times-- of 22%.

By comparison, the T3 time in France is 14%; in Germany 19%; and 21% in both The Netherlands and Luxembourg.