Sydney Traffic Rated Amongst Worst In The World

GPS manufacturer TomTom has released its global Congestion Index report for 2012 which monitors and compares traffic congestion levels around the world. In an outcome that will surprise nobody who spends time in its CBD, New South Wales' Sydney has edged into seventh place, beating the likes of Paris, Rome and Tokyo.

Sydney picture from Shutterstock

The TomTom Congestion Index is based on real travel time data captured by vehicles driving the entire road network. On average, it found that the overall congestion level in Sydney is 33 per cent. In peak traffic periods, this typically explodes to 78 per cent, which equates to around 40 wasted minutes for every hour driven.

“The TomTom Congestion Index clearly shows that traffic in our major metropolitan cities is on the rise. At TomTom we’re constantly working to help governments and road authorities make more informed decisions about tackling the issue of traffic congestion and the Index aims to do just that,” TomTom's Asia Pacific VP, Chris Kearney said in a statement.

Moscow took out the top spot, with average traffic congestion measuring a massive 66 per cent. The rest of the Top Ten was made up by Istanbul (55% congestion), Warsaw (42%), Marseille (40%), Palermo (39%), Los Angeles (33%), Stuttgart (33%), Paris (33%) and Rome (33%).

The worst times to travel in Sydney are Tuesday morning and Friday afternoon, with congestion rising to over 78 per cent when compared to non-peak times. Although, as we have noted in the past, the term 'peak hour' is largely nonsense, with morning congestion on Sydney’s M4 typically lasting for at least four hours (followed by additional spikes at around 3pm and 5pm.)

Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra also made the Top Ten for the A/NZ region. Interestingly, the report found that Friday afternoons were the quietest time on the road for Canberra, proving that there's basically nothing to do in this city (we kid).

See also: What Strategies Would You Use To Reduce Traffic Congestion?


    Well since public transport is largely a joke (see this morning re cityfail) maybe fixing the pathetic attempt at a rail system would be a start?

      Good luck with that... our next PM has just said that he won't be using any infrastructure money to build rail

        Not that he'd fund cityrail. state's repsonibility.

        Remember project clearways? Untangling the network so that a delay on one line wouldn't affect the network?

        Blew the budget, didn't work. At least there's this new line out west I guess..

        Even as Melbourne's Metro project is pretty much awaiting the green light to get going, Tony would prefer dropping $1.5 billion into what will end up being a $10 billion private-equity road tunnel.

        Would love to see Napthine lash out against the Federal Coalition.

    So road traffic is reaching an all-time peak from a congestion perspective. What's been proposed in our two largest cities to rectify this?

    - An extension of the M4 that will funnel even more vehicles onto an already congested motorway.

    - A road tunnel that's already failed two previous cost-benefit analysis and will require the tolling of an existing roadway before the numbers get anywhere close to stacking up.

    Yeah, sounds like some fantastic solutions there guys.

    Has TomTom's VP never been to Bangkok or Cairo? They make Sydney look like a breeze.

      And also Manila. Sadly!

    LA traffic is better then Sydney Traffic.
    Our infrastructure is a joke.

    I see my car!

    Here's the source data link so strangely missing from the summary:

    If current trends continue, Perth will be the most congested city in Australia by next year.

    The current systems in place try to improve what is in essence a chaotic system, where all vehicles want to go everywhere in all directions at the same time. Obviously, this is impossible, so something has to give. The traffic lights system makes it worse because it is based on the idea that an intersection can only allow traffic flow in one direction at a time. Roundabouts solve this problem by keeping the flow going in all directions, as do tunnels and bridges over & under (much more expensive).

    One option (this is the one planners generally favour at the moment - but not very effectively) is putting more emphasis on maintaining the flow in a particular direction to deal with 80% (or the majority of traffic) of the traffic in peak hours. The other 20% experience more delays if they are going against the flow. Another option (better, in my opinion) is to replace traffic lights at major intersections and replace them with roundabouts. Roundabouts can be controlled by traffic lights to increase / decrease the feed of vehicles entering from a particular point - depending on the direction of flow of the majority of vehicles - in other words, the system varies the flow depending on demand.

    Quite happy I chose to buy a place near work/a train station in Sydney.

    Say what you will of trains, but they're HEAPS more reliable than driving. Yet people still have their whinge about trains (especially recently after a couple of minor problems).

    For example, on Thursday my train was 20 minutes late. Big deal. My dad's trip to work usually takes 30 minutes in a car, and on Tuesday it took 2 hours!! I'll take a train any day of the week.

      I love to complain about CityFail every chance I get, but it's mostly because the issues seem to be preventable ones (They didn't estimate how long maintenance would take on the weekend so it flows into Monday morning, or they plan maintenance when there's a major weekend event on, etc). But, I think overall our rail system is amazing! Way better than the roads.

    Hey motorists, you are NOT stuck in traffic, you ARE traffic ! Ride a bike or catch public transport if you want to reduce congestion.

    i guess people should stop whinging about cyclists holding up traffic then hey...?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now