City Congestion Increases But Jams Fall in Countries

Congestion increased last year in most European cities, but declined overall in most countries says INRIX.

Also, Germany’s tallest viaduct wins design prize. Road closed to crashed Dakota site in Iceland. Nearly 2CHF billion to spend on Swiss roads this year. €1 million cash netted in Bulgaria roads corruption raid.

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CITY CONGESTION INCREASES BUT JAMS FALL IN COUNTRIES

London most congested city and Belgium most congested country.

Jams were dow in Brusselsand in Belgium overall though it is still Europe's most congested country. Photo @DriveEurope

Jams were down in Brussels and in Belgium overall though it is still Europe’s most congested country.

As is widely reported today, London is the world’s most congested city.

Traffic analysis firm INRIX published its latest annual Traffic Scorecard, looking at jams in thirteen European countries.

Drivers in the British capital lost 101 hours to congestion, the first time to 100 hour barrier has been breached.

In second place is Stuttgart with 73 hours, the biggest riser at +14% thanks to more car commuters and cheap fuel.

Antwerp is tied with Cologne for third at 71 hours though the Belgian city, up 10 percent, is moving up the list while Cologne – last year Germany’s most congested city – is falling down despite a 7.9% increase in jams (a move which ties in with ADAC findings last month).

Brussels rounds out the top five at 70 hours lost per commuter – though that represents a decline of 5.7%, thanks to new rail services – followed by Moscow, Karlsruhe, Munich, Utrecht and Milan, all with losses between 50-60 hours.

Jams in Milan fell by nearly 9%, presumably due to new road openings in the area.

Meanwhile, Belgium tops the charts for most congested country though delays fell by a significant 6.3 hours year-on-year says INRIX, to an average 44 hours lost.

Next is the Netherlands (39), Germany (38) Luxembourg (33) and Switzerland (30).

Of those, only Switzerland saw increased congestion. Though jams grew in 61% of cities, in general drivers benefited from a ‘sluggish’ Europe-wide economy. See the full listings

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2016-Kochertalbruecke-Pfeilerinstandsetzg-LAP x

Germany’s Kochertalbrucke has won the German Bridge Design Award 2016 it was announced today. Opened just before Christmas 1979, it underwent a 30 month rehabilitation which finished in December. The judges said the ‘innovative and minimally invasive’ restoration techniques were an outstanding engineering achievement. In a country where forty percent of bridges reportedly need some kind of maintenance or repair, they will be valuable lessons as the country embarks on an enormous infrastructure overhaul. Kochertalbrucke runs 1.128km over the River Kocher on the A6 at Geislingen between Heilbronn and Nuremberg in Baden Wurttemberg, southwest Germany. At 185m it is the country’s highest viaduct, and the highest so-called ‘simply supported’ beam bridge in the world. The Bridge Museum in Geislingen is open by appointment.

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roundup: ICELAND. Road access to the famous wrecked Douglas Dakota has been closed by the land owners reports Iceland Review. The crashed US Navy aircraft on Sólheimasandur beach on the southern tip of the country, 3km from Ring Road 1, is a popular tourist attraction. The road has been closed due to unauthorised off-road driving – a repeated bugbear of the locals, and strictly illegal on public land, with harsh penalties. SWITZERLAND. Nearly 2CHF billion (€1.8 billion) will be invested in roads this year, around 70 percent in the western French-speaking part of the country according to ASTRA Federal Roads Office. Major projects include extending the A9 in Valais between Martigny and Brig, completing the A16 ‘Transjurance’ between Bern and Belfort (F), widening the A1 Zurich bypass and – by June – finishing the Kublis Tunnel on the A28 in eastern Switzerland, speeding traffic to Davos and the awesome mountain roads in the region such as Albula, Fluela and Ofenpass (see more at PassFinder). BULGARIA. A man was caught attempting to smuggle €1 million in cash out of an office during an anti-corruption raid on a road builder. The company involved last year won tenders to build parts of the struggling Sofia-Greece Struma motorway reports Novinite.com – though the owner says the firm has been unfairly targeted thanks to a lack of political protection. Contracts on another stretch of motorway, the east-west Hemus Highway, were recently torn up after a dubious tender process. Meanwhile, an interesting development in road safety reports Sofia Globe. Police are now accepting dashcam footage as evidence in alleged traffic code breaches and have already issued fines as a result. After a 15% overall cut in traffic fatalities since 2010, 2014 saw an increase of 9% putting Bulgaria second only to Latvia for having the most dangerous roads in Europe. See more on driving in Bulgaria.

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