TomTom: ‘Traffic in Belgium decreased by one-fifth in 2020’
Last year, the general traffic intensity decreased by 18% compared to one year before. According to figures from the TomTom Traffic Index, a report about the traffic situation in 57 countries (416 cities), traffic increase was most spectacular in large cities like Brussels, Antwerp, and Liège. The lowest traffic level was – logically – registered in April.
TomTom’s report for Belgium is based on the traffic situation in the country’s ten busiest cities: Brussels, Antwerp, Louvain, Mons, Ghent, Liège, Namur, Courtrai, Bruges, and Charleroi. Morning and evening rush hours were reduced by one-third. Brussels remained the country’s busiest city, followed by Antwerp, and Louvain, where the average traveling time increased from 5 to 21% due to road construction works.
The busiest day of the year was Thursday, March 5th, when the extra traveling time was 61% due to some serious traffic accidents. On March 18th, when the lockdown was introduced, traffic almost came to a standstill.
Last year, Belgian traffic decreased for the first time in the last ten years, but experts don’t expect this to become a trend. “Aso soon as people return to their old habits, traffic will increase again,” they say. “That is why it’s so important for city planners, policymakers, and car drivers to decide how to reduce traffic in the future.”
Moscow busiest city
“What we need is a collective and conscious change in our travel behavior. People need to have more flexible working hours or work at home, and traffic information should be used to define the right moment to hop in the car.”
Moscow, the Russian capital, remains the busiest city globally, with 54% additional traveling time. The Indian Mumbai and Colombian Bogota sit in the second and third place (both with 53% extra traveling time). Brussels occupies 65th place in the global list, comparable with Palermo, Hamburg, and Geneva.
In the Netherlands, TomTom noticed similar situations. Morning and evening rush hours almost disappeared in Holland, and those who had to face rush hours arrived at home 32% earlier than in 2019.
According to the TomTom report, some cities, like Apeldoorn, Breda, The Hague, Utrecht, Amersfoort, and Arnhem, were busier on weekends than during the week. “This shows that people worked from home on weekdays and went out for recreational activities during the weekends.”
The busiest place in the Netherlands is Haarlem (110the place on the global list), followed by The Hague, Nijmegen, Leiden, and Groningen. Further in the top ten are Apeldoorn, Rotterdam, Arnhem, bread, and Tilburg. Amsterdam and Eindhoven sit in 11th and 12th place, respectively.