Rush hour started earlier, lasted longer
New figures indicate more than 10 percent more traffic in 2007.
2 January 2008
AMSTERDAM – Traffic pressure, calculated as the length of traffic tailbacks multiplied by their duration, increased 10.6 percent in 2007 compared to 2006, the Volkskrant reports. Traffic congestion has increased by 40 percent since 2002, according to figures published by the Traffic Information Service (VID) on Tuesday.
Traffic congestion primarily increased during the evening rush hour, which accounts for 75 percent of the total growth in tailbacks. “The evening rush hour starts earlier, lasts longer, and is more intense,” said a spokesperson for the VID.
The service estimates that people lost about 72 million hours in traffic last year. This represents social damage of more than EUR 1 billion.
The worst point on the roads was the same in 2007 as in the previous year: the bridge over the Oude Rijn on the A4 near Zoeterwoude-Rijndijk, despite a 13.3 percent decrease in traffic pressure on the segment.
Just as in 2006 the Coen tunnel, on the inside ring of the A10, came in second place of the top fifty bottlenecks. “The 80 km/hr zone introduced there seems to have helped little in the long term for this bottleneck in the evening rush hour,” the VID reports.
The third worst bottleneck is the stretch of the A2 between Utrecht and Den Bosch. Traffic pressure increased 40 percent between the intersections of Oudenrijn and Hintham. Last year this traffic bottleneck was in 12th place on the list of worst points.
It was significantly busier on the roads in January, May and June 2007, compared to the same months in 2006. The service says this may have had to do with the high level of precipitation in these months. It was also a great deal busier in April and February, though precipitation in these months was not up from 2006.
July and August showed virtually the same traffic levels as in the year previous.
The VID says that road works were less often the immediate cause of traffic tailbacks. The traffic pressure did increase as a result of detoured traffic however.
[Copyright Expatica News 2008]
Subject: Dutch news