Research pinpoints best time to avoid Dublin traffic while Cork ranks high for 'small city' congestion

Motorists in Dublin and Cork are becoming even more bogged down by traffic with a new international report showing both have growing congestion levels.

Research pinpoints best time to avoid Dublin traffic while Cork ranks high for 'small city' congestion

Motorists in Dublin and Cork are becoming even more bogged down by traffic with a new international report showing both have growing congestion levels.

The research by navigation specialist TomTom showed Dublin was the 17th most congested city in the world last year, while Cork was ranked 75th.

Now in its ninth year, the index uses real-time and historical data to chart congestion levels in 416 cities across 57 countries on six continents.

While Bengalaru in India is ranked the world's most congested city, with a rating of 71%, Dublin's ranking of 17th makes it the highest location in Western Europe in the rankings.

Its congestion level of 48% is an increase of 3% compared with the figure for the previous year, and the only other European cities ahead of it are Moscow (6th overall), Istanbul, which also borders Asia (9th overall), Kiev (12th), Bucharest (14th) and St Petersburg (16th).

According to the data, while Christmas Day saw the lowest congestion in the capital last year, congestion levels rose to 82% on October 25 last.

Thursdays between 5pm and 6pm were pinpointed as the optimum time to avoid travelling in the capital, with the report stating that motorists could save up to six hours per year (for a 30-minute commute) if they waited until after 6pm.

Commuters spent on average 27 minutes extra per 30-minute drive in the mornings and an extra 29 minutes for the same length of drive in the evenings.

Overall TomTom said drivers spent an extra 213 hours, equating to eight days and 21 hours, driving in rush hours over the course of the year.

Conor Faughnan of the AA said of the data: "It doesn't truly surprise us.

It shows us in stark relief that Dublin is absurdly congested by international standards.

He told RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke programme that having Dublin ranked ahead of mega-cities was "ridiculous".

Cork's overall ranking of 75th is the same as in the previous year and comes after a 1% rise in its congestion level to 33%. However, it is the 13th most congested 'small' city in the world, where the population is below 800,000 people.

Overall its congestion level is higher than that of major cities such as Manchester, Sydney and Lisbon.

Congestion in Cork peaked at 67% on November 26 last, with Tuesdays between 8am and 9am highlighted as the worst time to travel.

The report said an extra 170 hours, or seven days and two hours, was spent on average driving in rush hours in Cork over the course of 2019.

Commuters were likely to see an extra 22 minutes added onto their morning and evening 30-minute drive by travelling during rush hours.

Greensboro-High Point in America was deemed the city with the lowest congestion level, at 9%, with Cadiz the second-best rating in the world and Europe's least congested city at just 10% congestion.

University College Cork economist Frank Crowley tweeted that Cork's rating was "a prob[lematic] competitive disadvantage" given Project 2040 expects the city's population to increase alongside a 7:1 ratio in favour of road investment compared to sustainable transport.

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