Belgian traffic jams reduced in 2019, but more hours lost
It’s good news. During the first semester of 2019, the average time of traffic jams in Belgium has reduced compared to the previous year. Touring, which published those numbers in its Mobilis barometer, points out to an increase in ‘soft mobility’. Still, although numbers are dropping, Belgian motorists have spent more times in traffic jams than in 2015.
Motorist association, Touring, has published its Mobilis barometer analyzing the country’s driving habits. And, it comes with some good news. Compared to last year, the first semester of 2019 shows a decrease in the average time of traffic jams.
Less major traffic jams
Touring identified the structural traffic jams. It defines those as any traffic blockage out of accidents or bad weather. During any gridlock of maximum 100 km, Belgian motorists lost 848,3 hours in 2018 and 790,1 h in 2019. The same reduction goes for other types of gridlock, being max 150 km (457,4/432,5 h), 200 km (234,4/214,3 h), or 250 km (104,4/85,2 h).
The drop is even more important in case of major congestion accumulating 300 km or more of stopped traffic. The average time was divided by two (21,4 h in 2019, 46,6 h in 2018) for those. Moreover, for congestion of more than 400 km, the time was divided by four (1,1 h in 2019, 4,2 h in 2018).
Better in 2015
In other terms, the average time of traffic jams has reduced by 6,86% for those under 100 km and 18,65% for those under 250 km. Of course, this shows a progression in traffic management in Belgium compared to the previous years. Yet, numbers are still higher than in 2015 (respectively +21,31% and +28,26%).
“We can’t yet draw a final conclusion, but it seems that motorists are finally fed up with traffic jams. To be sure, we’ll need to wait for the second semester’s results or for the 2020 numbers,” declares Touring’s spokesperson, Lorenzo Stefani.
‘Soft mobility increase’
“We can sense that mobility, especially during the elections, has taken the lead compared to other public services. Cycling paths have been created. Public transport apps have been enhanced and even the SNCB/NMBS became more punctual,” he adds.
In addition to those public services, the private sector is getting active on mobility as well. In major cities, car-sharing has increased and e-scooters are booming. “Let’s not forget the increase in motorbike use in traffic,” adds the spokesperson.