Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 October 2020

Abu Dhabi is the least congested capital city in the world, report finds

International study ranks Bengaluru the most traffic-choked city, ahead of Manila and Bogota

Abu Dhabi is the least congested capital city in the world, according to a new traffic study. The National
Abu Dhabi is the least congested capital city in the world, according to a new traffic study. The National

Abu Dhabi is the least congested capital city in the world, according to a new international traffic study

Comprehensive research by satellite navigitation technology firm TomTom ranked Abu Dhabi 410th in total out of 416 cities across 57 countries and six continents in the traffic league table.

The report compares the time an average driver loses stuck in traffic compared to how long a journey would take in normal, free-flowing road conditions.

It found trips taken when roads are congested took 10 per cent longer in the UAE capital then they would have done in clear conditions in 2019, down from 11 per cent the previous year.

Globally, there’s a long road to travel until congestion levels are brought under control

Ralf-Peter Schäfer

The study also found traffic flow is improving in neighbouring Dubai, with routes during periods of congestion taking 21 per cent longer, down 2 per cent on figures recorded in 2018.

The emirate ranked 265th out of the 416 cities studied.

India was home to four of the ten most congested cities, with Bengaluru the most traffic-choked at 71 per cent.

Manila, the capital of the Philippines, was edged into second (also on 71 per cent), with the Colombian capital of Bogota (68 per cent) ahead of the Indian cities of Mumbai and Pune.

The most congestion-free city on the planet in 2019 was Greensboro-High Point in America (nine per cent), performing marginally better than Cadiz in Spain, Akron, Syracuse and Dayton in the United States, Almere in the Netherlands and Abu Dhabi (all on 10 per cent).

The authors of the report said they measured the amount of congestion in contrast to a 'baseline' level in perfect road conditions.

The baseline figure is recorded by analysing free-flow travel times across the road network throughout the year.

Frustrated motorists have spend an increasing amount of time in gridlock over the last decade, with a 'long road' still ahead to clear up the issue.

“Globally, there’s a long road to travel until congestion levels are brought under control," said Ralf-Peter Schäfer, TomTom’s vice president of traffic information.

"In time, the rise of autonomous vehicles and sharing services will help alleviate congestion, but planners and policymakers can’t afford to sit and wait.

"They need to use all the tools available to them to analyze traffic levels and impacts, so they can make critical infrastructure decisions. And drivers have a role to play too. Small changes in driving behaviours can make a huge difference.”

Transport chiefs have stepped up efforts to slash congestion across Abu Dhabi and Dubai in recent years.

Dubai introduced the Salik toll gate charge in 2007 in an effort to boost traffic flow.

Motorists must purchase tags which can be placed on their windscreen, which register each time a car travels through one of the seven toll gates in the emirate.

Drivers pay a flat Dh4 charge each time they pass through a gate.

The popular Dubai Metro was launched in 2009 to encourage to swap their cars for public transport.

A toll gate system was also rolled out in Abu Dhabi in January, though drivers have a three-month grace period before charges kick in.

Motorists passing through the four gates located on the main bridges leading to and from Abu Dhabi city will only be charged during rush hour.

From Saturday to Thursday, road users will pay a Dh4 charge when driving through the gates between 7-9am and 5-7pm.

A maximum fee of Dh16 will be levied against commuters in any one day and charges will be capped at Dh200 a month for one vehicle.

Updated: February 1, 2020 02:30 PM

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