THE UK's worst traffic jam last year took place on the M5 in Somerset, new figures show.

The worst queue of the year occurred on August 4 on the M5 northbound near Junction 20 near Clevedon, Somerset.

Traffic tailed back 36 miles at the peak of the 15-hour jam, caused when an accident involving two lorries created a fuel spill and led to the closure of two lanes.

Fuel spillages, emergency repairs and broken-down lorries contributed to the biggest pile-ups this year.

Analysis by transport data company Inrix found that drivers faced 1.35 million traffic jams in the past year, costing them an estimated £9 billion in wasted time, fuel and unnecessary carbon emissions.

Analysis of queues during the 12 months to August found that November 2016 was the worst with almost 170,000 hold-ups - some 50% above average.

Inrix chief economist Dr Graham Cookson said: "There are so many factors that influence congestion levels it's hard to be certain why November was the worst month.

"We do know November 2016 was significantly colder than usual, in fact, the coldest month of the calendar year," he said.

"The risk of ice on the road can lead to slower moving traffic and people are more inclined to take shelter in vehicles over cycling or walking in cold snaps."

"We advise motorists use the latest real-time traffic technology to keep up to date with the situation on the roads."

Mel Clarke, customer service director at Highways England, which manages motorways and major A roads, said: "In our first two years, we met our target to clear 85% of all incidents on our network within an hour and last year exceeded our target to keep 97% of lanes available to road users to help smooth the flow of traffic.

"We will continue to ensure roads are reopened safely but as quickly as possible."