Excluding the highly congested cities of Russia, Geneva and Zurich were the fourth and fifth most traffic congested cities in Europe in 2017, according to the automotive data company INRIX, which publishes a traffic ranking of around 1,360 cities across the world.
Istanbul (3rd), Paris (2nd) and London (1st) were the only european cities ahead of Geneva and Zurich on time spent in congestion, when Russian cities were excluded.
In Geneva and Zurich, Switzerland’s most congested cities, the percentage of driving time spent in congestion, on average, during peak hours on roads into and out of the city was 29%. The percentage of driving time spent in congestion, on average, during peak hours on roads within these cities was 32% in Geneva and 29% in Zurich.
Average annual hours spent in congestion were slightly higher in Geneva (52 hours) than in Zurich (51 hours).
Globally, Geneva (32nd) and Zurich (33rd) were further down the list. Los Angeles, where an average motorist spent 102 hours a year in congestion, was the world’s worst.
Both of Switzerland’s main cities improved their rank in 2017. Zurich dropped from 25th worst last year to 33rd in 2017. Geneva dropped one place from 31st to 32nd worst.
Major Swiss cities faring better than these two were Basel (80th), Lausanne (123rd), Luzern (186th) and Bern (231st). The best ranked Swiss city was Sierre (1,288th).
Hours spent in congestion annually in selected Swiss cities are shown in the chart below.
As a nation Switzerland ranked 17th, with 27 hours on average spent in peak hour congestion per year. In 2016, it ranked 14th worst, with 28 hours on average spent in peak hour congestion per year.
A study by the Swiss government published in 2016 calculated that traffic congestion in Switzerland cost CHF 1.25 billion in 2014. In addition to this cost, the environmental cost in terms of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions was calculated to be CHF 3.3 billion in 2010.
Every year the Dutch GPS maker TomTom publishes a similar traffic ranking to INRIX. For this one you’ll need to wait a few more weeks. Hopefully not in traffic.