Europe’s 50 most congested cities

14 Jun 2011

Brussels has taken pole position as Europe’s most congested city, while Cologne has the lowest traffic congestion, but it’s also good news for Dublin, which has experienced a 2pc reduction in traffic delays over the past year, according to a new survey from sat-nav provider TomTom.

The study, which looked at Europe’s most congested hotspots, found that congestion in Brussels, Belgium, is worsening, showing a 1.2pc increase in traffic since 2010. Cologne in Germany appears to be Europe’s least gridlocked city, as it sits at the bottom of the top 50 list, with only 18.9pc of its roads congested.

And despite a 0.2pc decrease in traffic, London has come third in the most congested city list. Manchester and Edinburgh also feature in the top 10, with a total of 16 UK cities featuring in the top 50.

It’s better news for Dublin, which comes in at No 24 in the TomTom study. Dublin has reduced its traffic congestion by 2pc over the past year and has reduced its traffic by 9.7pc since 2010, according to the study. Meanwhile, Belfast sits at No 12 on the list. Ireland’s traffic congestion now stands at 24.2pc.

TomTom 2011 study of Europe’s 50 most congested cities

Ranking   City
1 BE Brussels
2 PL Warsaw
3 UK London
4 PL Wroclaw
5 FR Toulouse
6 FR Lyon
7 UK Edinburgh
8 FR Marseille
9 FR Paris
10 UK Manchester
11 UK Bradford
12 UK Belfast
13 UK Oxford
14 IT Milan
15 UK Birmingham
16 CH Zurich
17 NO Oslo
18 IT Rome
19 UK Aberdeen
20 IT Naples
21 NL Amsterdam
22 NL Rotterdam
23 ES Barcelona
24 IE Dublin
25 DE Munich
26 HU Budapest
27 AT Graz
28 IT Genoa
29 UK Nottingham
30 FR Montpellier
31 AT Vienna
32 DE Hamburg
33 UK Southampton
34 IT Turin
35 NL Utrecht
36 CZ Prague
37 DE Bonn
38 DE Stuttgart
39 PL Kraków
40 NL Haarlemmermeer
41 UK Bolton
42 UK Guildford
43 UK Wakefield
44 FR Nice
45 UK Leicester
46 BE Antwerp
47 UK Liverpool
48 UK Cambridge
49 DE Essen
50 DE Cologne

Based on the study, six of Europe’s most congested cities have significantly reduced traffic since 2010. For instance, the Polish city of Wroclaw has seen a 2.6pc drop, moving it down to fourth place out of 50, while Toulouse in France has reduced congestion by 1.9pc, making it fifth in the rankings, with 33pc of the city’s roads congested.

Real travel times

The research was based on TomTom’s real travel times database. According to the company, a city’s traffic is defined as congested if drivers can travel at only 70pc or less of the posted speed limit, meaning that an hour-long commute would include 20 minutes or more of significant delays.

Only cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants and with more than 200km of road networks were included in the rankings.

Photo: View of Dublin City, which ranked 24th in the TomTom study of Europe’s 50 most congested cities

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic