Munich/Bonn „Stop and Go“: Monday mornings are particularly bad. According to an analysis, traffic jams are increasing in several major cities in NRW - including Bonn. This affects commuters on their way to and from work in particular.
According to an analysis by the mapping specialist TomTom, motorists in several major cities in North Rhine-Westphalia are spending more and more time in traffic jams. The increase in traffic goes hand in hand with the growing number of inhabitants, for example in Cologne and Düsseldorf, the company reported on Wednesday. In the state capital, the effects of the environmental lanes, which are intended to prevent driving bans due to excessive pollution, were also noticeable. In Cologne and Düsseldorf, commuters travelling at peak times lose about 4.5 days of time over the whole year, according to model calculations.
For the "TomTom Traffic Index" for the year 2019, data from smartphones and fixed navigation systems were evaluated for 416 cities worldwide. As in the previous year, the German congestion capital was Hamburg (34 percent, up 1 percentage point). The percentage calculated by TomTom shows how much longer a journey takes as a result of the traffic jam. In the case of Hamburg, this means that the journey time is extended by a third on a daily average compared to a journey without traffic jams. According to this, in the morning and evening rush hour traffic in Hamburg is even 54 and 61 percent longer respectively. No other major German city has higher values in the company's negative ranking.
Traffic jam numbers in Bonn continue to increase
In North Rhine-Westphalia, the analysis shows that the problem is most severe in Bonn, with a daily average traffic jam level of 29 percent (up 2 percentage points), 52 percent in the morning (up 1) and 61 percent in the evening - as in Hamburg - (up 3). This still means 7th place in the ranking. In the negative ranking, Cologne improves from 10th to 11th place compared to 2018 - but only because Kassel was newly admitted and immediately moved up to 8th place. The daily average traffic jam level is 26 percent (plus 1). Traffic congestion is also high in Cologne during rush hour, with values of 44 percent (+/-0) in the morning and 52 percent (plus 1) in the evening.
Düsseldorf deteriorated in the negative ranking from 17th to 14th place, with the daily average traffic jam level rising by 3 points to 24 percent. This is the strongest increase among the cities and regions considered in the commuter state of NRW. "The effects of the new environmental lanes are particularly noticeable here - the alternative routes that are used to bypass the city centre show a significantly increased traffic load," the company reported. According to the report, the average traffic jam level was 49 percent in the morning (up 3) and 45 percent in the evening (up 4).
Long delays for commuters in the Düsseldorf area
For a journey that takes 30 minutes without traffic obstructions, motorists in Düsseldorf would have to add 15 minutes in the morning and 14 minutes in the evening. In Cologne, drivers would need 13 minutes more in the morning and 16 minutes more in the evening. In terms of weekdays, commuters in the Düsseldorf area would have to reckon with the longest delays on Monday mornings between 7 and 8 a.m. In the Cologne area, the traffic jam peak is Thursday evening between 4 and 5 pm. The traffic situation is most relaxed on Monday evening and Friday morning.
For the western Ruhr area, the navigation specialist reports an unchanged traffic jam level of 23 percent on a daily average - 17th place in the ranking (previous year 12th place).
Mönchengladbach comes in 20th place with 22 percent. That is two points more than in 2018, when the city occupied 22nd place. Münster and the eastern Ruhr area follow with 21 percent each (plus 1 point each) in 22nd place (20 in 2018) and 24th place (19) respectively. Wuppertal comes 26th with a daily average traffic jam level of 17 percent (up 1 point) (2018: 25th).
TomTom points to the renewed increase in the number of cars. In contrast to the number of vehicles, which continues to grow, it is hardly possible to expand the existing infrastructure in a sensible way. "In order to achieve a turnaround in traffic, the task for the coming years is to significantly reduce the number of vehicles," it says.
(Original text: dpa; Translation: Mareike Graepel)