Monday 26 August 2019

Traffic jam capital - Dublin makes top 20 'most congested' list

The index claims drivers in Dublin are spending an average of 45pc more time travelling in traffic than they should under more normal circumstances. Photo: Collins
The index claims drivers in Dublin are spending an average of 45pc more time travelling in traffic than they should under more normal circumstances. Photo: Collins
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Dublin is now the 14th most congested city in the world - and the sixth worst in Europe - according to a global survey.

The TomTom Traffic Index, which studied traffic in 403 cities across 56 countries, paints a grim picture of how long it takes to get around in the Irish capital.

It also finds that Cork ranks as the second most congested city in the country and the 70th worldwide. Limerick, meanwhile, comes third in the congestion stakes nationally and 94th worldwide.

The findings of the annual index will bring renewed focus on how we deal with our clogged city streets and their potential threat to our health from continuously higher levels of emissions - and to businesses from long delays.

Expert comment on the index says it is estimated that gridlock in the Dublin region currently costs €350m a year. But it cites predictions that the bill could rise to €2bn by 2033 if measures are not taken to tackle the problem.

Despite measures to reduce congestion, Dublin's gridlock worsened marginally (by 1pc) last year, according to the index. That was enough to edge it upwards by one place from 15th to become the 14th most congested city on earth in 2018.

The index claims drivers in Dublin are spending an average of 45pc more time travelling in traffic than they should under more normal circumstances.

Cork's congestion level, meanwhile, is 31pc with Limerick on 28pc.

It also pinpoints the most traffic-jammed roads in the Dublin area last year. The top three were Dorset Street Lower/Upper, Drumcondra Road Lower/Upper and Church Street Upper.

Heiko Schilling, head of navigation at TomTom, says Dublin is in many ways a "victim of its own success".

He said: "The city has experienced a major growth in population and employment, much of it in or near the city centre. In spite of investment in new road and rail infrastructure, busways and bikeways, congestion remains stubbornly high."

Dublin's gridlock is very much in keeping with the majority of other major cities around the world, the index shows.

Congestion has increased globally during the last 10 years, it reports. Nearly 75pc of the cities in the index endured increased or static traffic levels between 2017 and 2018. But there was one positive note with 90 cities showing measurable decreases.

Mumbai is the world's most congested city, with Indian drivers spending an average of 65pc extra travel time stuck in traffic. Next are Colombia's capital, Bogota (63pc), Lima in Peru (58pc), New Delhi (58pc) and Moscow (56pc).

Brussels (37pc), London (37pc) and Paris (36pc) ranked in at 11th, 12th and 13th respectively.

Irish Independent

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