London Officially Has the World’s Worst Traffic
(Bloomberg) -- As global traffic starts to recover from pandemic lockdowns earlier this year, London has emerged as the most congested city in the world.
According to transportation analytics firm Inrix Inc., the city has the worst levels of traffic among more than 1,000 selected across 50 countries. Paris, Brussels, Moscow and New York are next on the list showing where you’re most likely to spend your time stuck in a jam.
The report, which relies on countries where Inrix has data coverage, excludes some infamously busy cities such as Lahore, Lagos and Cairo.
Inrix’s operations director told the BBC that London’s high levels of congestion were partly down to the installation of new bike lanes last year. Cycle charities disputed the claims, with Cycling UK arguing that lanes help to move people more efficiently.
While traffic is evidently returning, city-center travel continues to trail pre-pandemic levels, according to the study. Trips downtown in the U.S. are 22% lower and the U.K. has fallen 19%, as many people continue to work at least some of the time from home.
Some European cities are bringing back harsher restrictions such as closing nightclubs to counter a fresh virus wave, moves that could see traffic recede again. The U.K. is so far trying to hold the line, with the government reluctant to bring in stricter measures even as cases of the new omicron variant double every three days.
Global traffic in 2021 was still below 2019, but the increase from last year signals a significant economic recovery, according to the study.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.