The report, by the AA and road information company Trafficmaster, shows that congestion has decreased by almost a third since the credit crunch began two years ago - the first fall in congestion on motorways and trunk roads for 20 years.
The reasons are largely attributed to the recession, due to higher levels of unemployment but also more commuters saving money by working from home or car-sharing to save on travel costs.
"The report brings both good news and bad news," said the AA's president, Edmund King. "Congestion is falling, but that is due to the recession, fuel prices and unemployment.
"The motor vehicle is an integral part of British culture we rely on - whether getting to work, taking the kids to school or delivering goods." When times are hard, he added, we look at ways to cut down on car journeys.
The news is no surprise to Liftshare, which sees thousands of new members sign up to the network every month in order to find others to share their journey.
"Without sharing, my commuting petrol bill would be over £200 per month," says car-sharer Norman Hadley from Preston. "With the current arrangements, I can at least halve that, saving over £100 of after-tax money every month. I calculate this is equivalent to a pay rise of about £1,700."
• The commuting figures are from an AA/Populus panel survey of 8,808 drivers surveyed between 30 June and 6 July 2009. The full report can be viewed by clicking here.
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