Dublin among top 25 most congested cities in world

ireland
Dublin traffi: Getty Images
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Kenneth Fox

Dublin is in the top 25 most congested cities in the world, even with the decreased traffic numbers during the pandemic.

This is according to the location technology specialist TomTom, who created a traffic index which details the traffic situation in 2020 in over 400 cities in 57 countries.

Dublin ranked 21st on their index, while Limerick ranked 71st and Cork placed 100 on the congestion index.

The data shows that the global Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on traffic congestion in Ireland, dropping on average by 17 per cent compared to 2019.

Repeated lockdowns have caused evening peak travel times to flatten, while morning travel remains heavily congested

They said after a ‘normal’ start to 2020 – with congestion levels consistent with 2019 – traffic levels began to reduce in March and plunge in April as Ireland’s first national lockdown came into force.

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Congestion levels have steadily risen over the course of the year, peaking in December 2020. However, they remain below the traffic levels of 2019.

The TomTom Traffic Index data shows that the pandemic and widespread remote working has had a flattening effect on rush hour traffic throughout the country.

Overall, Ireland saw a 27 per cent average decrease in congestion during rush hours.

They said during April 2020, Irish travel patterns were virtually flat, lacking the usual early morning and evening peak times traditionally expected.

Lockdown policies

However, Ireland’s lockdown policies appear to have had a significant impact on the country’s rush hour periods. Following the first lockdown, they said evening peak times rose steadily as morning traffic levels remained largely flat.

With the imposition of the regional three-counties lockdown in August, the situation reversed as morning peaks nearly returned to pre-crisis levels while evening peak times largely levelled off.

From September, this trend of higher morning peaks and quieter evenings has persisted, reinforced by the reopening of most Irish schools.

Speaking about the traffic index, Stephanie Leonard, head of innovation and policy at TomTom, said: “Ireland is moving in the right direction in the fight against congestion.

“The pandemic of course has had a dramatic impact, but it coincides with a raft of ambitious policies designed to lower traffic levels across the nation.

“This includes the rolling out of new bicycle pumps and lanes across Dublin roads, new Bus Connect routes, and the continued development of the Cork North Ring Road.”

She said as vaccines get rolled-out, we could see traffic levels shoot up again as people get back to work and back into old routines.

You can check out the full ranking and interactive report here.

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