TomTom: ‘Brussels 14th most congested city in the world’

TomTom, the Dutch developer of location and navigation technology, has acclaimed the city of London as the city with the slowest traffic in the world. Last year, drivers needed 36 minutes and 20 seconds on average to cover a 10 km stretch in the British capital.

Brussels sits in 14th place in the world ranking, with an average of ‘only’ 25 minutes and 30 seconds. Only on November 10th, 2022, drivers in Brussels spent a record time in their cars: it took them more than 31 minutes to cover 10 km of distance.

202 kg of CO2 per driver

Compared to other European cities, Brussels sits in 7th place, and in Belgium, it’s the record-holder for slowest traffic. Last year, Brussels drivers spent an average of 236 hours in their cars during rush hours, of which 91 in traffic jams. In rush hours, drivers needed 30 minutes and 50 seconds to cover a 10 km stretch in Brussels, or 38% more than on other moments of the day.

And, of course, all this has consequences for the environment and the economy. Traffic jams result in the release of 202 kg of CO2 per driver each year. They represent a cost of €161 more for those running on gasoline, €130 for diesel, and €89 for those driving an electrically-powered vehicle.

Financial consequences

Last year, the federation of Belgian enterprises launched a real-time monitoring platform for traffic jams and their financial consequences for society. Conclusion? In 2022 alone, almost 4,8 billion euros would have been lost in traffic jams in Belgium. For January 2023 alone, it would have been 354 million euros.

In other Belgian cities, travel times are not that bad. Traffic in Antwerp, the second city in the Belgian ranking, usually makes good progress, positioning the city in 185th place. According to the TomTom index, Liège (third in Belgium) sits in 198th place, while Ghent occupies 308th place.

Other congested cities

Bucharest (Romania), Dublin (Ireland), Milan (Italy, and Paris (France), are also known for their congestion problems. The French capital has been suffering from traffic problems since the 70s.

TomTom selected 50 cities and, drawing on the 2022 traffic data, compared them to one another, focusing on two measurements: the time it took to travel 10 km during rush hours and the cost of traveling 10 km during rush hours.




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