Traffic congestion levels in Cork on the rise again as workers return

According to TomTom's traffic index ranking, last Friday evening was the busiest in weeks, showing a congestion rate of 61% at 4pm - a 20% increase from the same time the week previously.
Traffic congestion levels in Cork on the rise again as workers return
Traffic levels are picking up, according to real-time GPS data. File Picture: Larry Cummins
Traffic levels are picking up, according to real-time GPS data. File Picture: Larry Cummins

Cork motorists are getting back to the morning and evening slog as they return to their workplaces, real-time data from a GPS firm shows - but are still way behind pre-Covid-19 levels.

According to TomTom's traffic index ranking, last Friday evening was the busiest in weeks, showing a congestion rate of 61% at 4pm - a 20 percentage point increase from the same time the week previously.

Last Friday evening's peak had the highest recorded traffic spike of all the previous seven days, but still remained below the 2019 average of 69% at that time.

Monday-to-Thursdays remain relatively quick-moving compared to 2019 figures, the data shows.

There was a mere 14% congestion on Cork roads at 8am last Monday morning, compared to 73% on the same day in 2019 - an almost 60 percentage point decrease.

The afternoon traffic on Monday peaked at 3pm, with a congestion rate of 41% - an actual increase of 7 percentage points on the same day in 2019.

However, it was way below the 2019 rush-hour rate around 5pm, which saw a congestion rate of 65%. The rate last Monday at 5pm was just 32%.

Tuesday is traditionally the busiest morning in Cork when it comes to traffic, but this week saw the day's rush hour congestion peak at 16%. This is compared to a whopping 84% on the same day in 2019.

Wednesday and Thursday showed similar patterns.

When it factors in Covid-19 patterns, Wednesday, February 12 was the most congested day overall of the year at an average of 57%.

The week beginning March 16 saw congestion levels plummet almost overnight.

Monday, March 9 saw congestion levels of 41% overall in Cork, before plunging to just 16% a week later.

Between that week beginning March 9 until Friday, June 5, congestion levels never went above 20%.

From the week beginning June 2 until today, congestion has consistently been around the 17% mark.

Last Friday saw the busiest overall day since the middle of March, reaching 31% congestion levels on average for the day.

This has been the first period since March for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to all rise above 23% in the same week.

Over a full 12-month period, Cork ranks 75th among TomTom's global city index for congestion, compared with Dublin in 17th, Belfast in 76th and Limerick in 118th.

TomTom's traffic index covers 416 cities across 57 countries on six continents.

Bengalaru in India was the most congested city in 2019, closely followed by Manila in the Philippines in second. Both recorded 71% congestion on average.

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