April second heaviest congestion month in Flanders since measuring began

Since the Flemish Traffic Center started measuring in 2011, April was the second heaviest month for congestion. The record for the heaviest congestion month ever remains June 2019 for now.

Moreover, traffic jams in February, March, and April – with 167 km of traffic jams per working day that month – were never as heavy as this year.

Due to heavy rain and high-impact construction sites

Besides the fact that the motorways have become largely saturated by traffic growth over the years, the Traffic Center also sees as causes for the rising congestion pressure this spring the persistent bad weather conditions, a lot of inconvenience due to a high number of incidents, and the impact of some major construction sites such as the E313 in Ranst, the Leonard Tunnel on R0 in Brussels, and the disappearance of a lane on the R1 (Atnwerp) near the Sportpaleis for the construction of Oosterweel.

In the top 10 heaviest congestion days in 2024 to date, there are six days from April. The heaviest congestion day in 2024 so far is Tuesday, 16 April. “Then there was a very heavy morning rush hour, the after-effects of which continued to be felt throughout the day,” says Peter Bruyninckx, spokesperson for the Flemish Traffic Center. “That day was characterized by heavy rain, a lot of traffic, many accidents, and traffic jams due to several high-impact construction sites.”

On average, 20 inconvenience accidents happened on motorways on weekdays in April.

A price tag of €476 million

Last year, May was the heaviest congestion month of the whole year. “May 2024 is not yet completed, so we do not yet have definite figures, but road users who frequented the motorways in recent weeks have been able to see that it was particularly busy at many times,” says Bruyninckx.

According to the business newspaper De Tijd, which relied on figures from the employers’ association VBO and the car industry federation Febiac, the time lost, extra fuel consumption, and extra air pollution had a price tag of some 476 million euros in April.

Last year, traffic jams cost the Belgian economy more than 5 billion euros.


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