Inrix, a leading international provider of traffic information and intelligent driver services, has released the Inrix Traffic Scorecard, which shows a 17% decrease in traffic congestion worldwide in 2011 with an 11% fall in the UK.
“Traffic congestion is an excellent economic indicator telling us whether people are going to work, businesses are shipping products and consumers are spending money,” said Stuart Marks, senior vice president of Inrix Europe.
“As the European Union decides how to best help countries like Spain and Italy, the report not only validates the extent of the debt crisis in these countries but indicates who might be next.”
Among the 13 European nations analysed, the countries impacted the most by the European debt crisis mirror those with the largest drops in traffic congestion.
Portugal (-49%), Ireland (-25%), Spain (-15%) and Italy (12%) were among those with the largest declines last year. Despite being considered the strongest European economies, troubles across the Eurozone fueled declines in Germany (-8%), Netherlands (-7%) and Belgium (-3%). In comparing 2011 to 2010, France showed change of less than 1%.
Analysis of traffic congestion in the first five months of 2012 shows even further declines. With France showing a 3% decline, the drop in traffic congestion extended from 8 to 9 of the 13 European Countries analysed in the report.
By comparison, the strength of Germany’s economy fueled by modest employment growth (+1.3 percent) resulted in a 6% increase in traffic congestion in the first five months of this year.
According to Inrix, Europe’s top 10 worst countries for traffic congestion in 2011 were:
1. Belgium: Drivers waste 55 hours in traffic, two hours less than 2010
2. Netherlands: Drivers waste 50 hours in traffic, four hours less than 2010
3. Italy: Drivers waste 29 hours in traffic, six hours less than 2010
4. U.K.: Drivers waste 32 hours in traffic, four hours less than 2010
5. Spain: Drivers waste 34 hours in traffic, six hours less than 2010
6. France: Drivers waste 36 hours in traffic, no change from 2010
7. Germany: Drivers waste 36 hours in traffic, three hours less than 2010
8. Austria: Drivers waste 27 hours in traffic, two hours less than 2010
9. Portugal: Drivers waste 23 hours in traffic, 22 hours less than 2010
10. Switzerland: Drivers waste 22 hours in traffic, two hours less than 2010
Luxembourg, Hungary and Ireland complete the list respectively among the 13 European countries analysed. By comparison, the US ranked second to last on the list compared with Europe, just ahead of Ireland.