The German autobahn network is straining at the seams says the ADAC as it names the A8 to Karlsruhe as the country’s most congested motorway.
Drivers are warned about a speeding fine goldmine on the A50 near Arnhem. Bulgaria will build a motorway to the Danube Romania border, and finish off some important others by October, and move to pay as you go road tolls. Shockingly few Portuguese drivers lose their licences.
RECORD TRAFFIC JAMS IN GERMANY
Autobahn network ‘reaching capacity’ says ADAC in call for more work on bottlenecks.
The total length of traffic jams in Germany reached almost a million kilometres in 2014.
According to motoring club ADAC, 475,000 separate jams generated 960,000km of tailbacks last year, a new record (compared to 415,000 and 830,000km in 2013). The rise is attributed as much to improved detection of jams as a sudden increase in traffic.
The most congested roads were in Nord Rhein Westphalia in the west and Baden Wurttemburg and Bavaria in the south.
ADAC says, ‘Our current analysis demonstrates that the German motorway network is reaching its capacity limits. Considerable work is needed to remove bottlenecks.’
By far the heaviest traffic was in Nord Rhein Westphalia, especially to and from Cologne. Taking 30% of all jams, NRW accounted for five times the amount of congestion as the three entire states in the east.
The most congested road was the east-west A8 in the south – particularly the eastbound stretch Karlsruhe-Stuttgart (currently undergoing extensive remodelling) – closely followed by the southbound A3 Oberhausen-Cologne and southbound A1 Cologne-Euskirchen.
The busiest month is October. The busiest day is Friday. The quietest is Saturday (except, in our experience, at peak holiday times).
Like most other developed countries Germany struggles with an under-maintained, mature road network. The by now oft-quoted statistics say up to half of all bridges, twenty percent of motorways and forty percent of main roads are in need of repair.
Spending has been constrained by the Credit Crunch and political imperatives to cut the budget deficit and not increase tax on drivers.
Recent initiatives like the ‘foreigner toll’ and an expansion of the truck toll network, with revenues earmarked for road maintenance, are not expected to raise enough to plug the gap.
Also: French environment minister Segolene Royale may have dismissed the notion that wood burning stoves contributed to the Paris pollution crises as ‘ridiculous’ – and immediately overturned a ban – but over in Germany they take the idea much more seriously. While a report today from the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) found that nitrogen oxide levels from traffic exceeded EU thresholds at half of monitoring stations, the UBA president told Euractiv, ‘Emissions from wood-fired heating systems have begun to generate more particulate than exhausts in highway traffic.’
roundup: NETHERLANDS. More than 19,000 speeding fines have been handed out during the renovation of the A50 motorway bridge over the Waal near Ewijk between Arnhem and Eindhoven reports DutchNews.nl. The temporary limit is 90kmh over the 2.5km stretch. BULGARIA will build a motorway rather than expressway between the Romanian border at Ruse and Veliko Tarnovo says Novinite.com. Ruse is home to the Danube bridge one of only two fixed crossings along the 290 mile river border between the two countries. The 110km road, a busy trade route, is expected to be funded by a mix of EU grants and EIB loans and will be ready by 2020 says SofiaGlobe.com. Meanwhile, the inbuild sections of the Struma Highway – all, that is, except the sensitive stretch through the Kresna Gorge – between Sofia and the Greece border, and the Maritsa Highway between Sofia and Turkey, will open in October it was announced today. Bulgaria has also signed an agreement with the World Bank to replace its vignette toll system with pay as you go road charges reports Novinite.com. PORTUGAL. Just 41 drivers have had their licences confiscated in the past four years says ThePortugalNews.com (nearly 12,000 are in the last chance saloon however). This is all set to change however with a new points-based system expected to be revealed in March.