The latest edition of the TomTom Traffic Index has revealed the Dutch city with the highest congestion levels – and you might be surprised to hear that it isn’t Amsterdam, Rotterdam, or The Hague!

2021 TomTom Traffic Index: Traffic jams all around the world

Every year, TomTom looks at traffic jams in 404 cities across 58 countries from around the world. For each city, researchers calculated the average amount of time that drivers lose as a result of time spent in traffic jams every year, as well as how much longer a journey would take as a result of traffic jams.

The 2021 TomTom Traffic Index found that last year, Istanbul suffered from the worst traffic, with a congestion level of 62 percent and locals losing a total of 142 hours stuck in jams every year. This means that a 30-minute journey in Istanbul would take 62 percent more time than it would if the city’s roads were clear.

Istanbul was followed closely by Moscow with 140 hours. Overall, the top 10 was dominated by European cities, with the likes of Kyiv, Bucharest, and Saint Petersburg all securing spots in the top eight with congestion levels of 50 percent or over in 2021.

Haarlem ranked as the Dutch city with the most traffic jams

Haarlem was found to be the most heavily congested Dutch city, with a congestion level of 28 percent in 2021 – an increase of 3 percentage points compared to 2020 – putting it in 103rd place overall. This means a 30-minute journey in Haarlem would take an additional 8,4 minutes. Luckily, here in the Netherlands, it’s easy to hop on your bike or take public transport so you can avoid the traffic!

Almere, on the other hand, was ranked as the least congested city, with a congestion level of only 10 percent, putting it in 392nd place out of the 404 global cities. The largest Dutch cities – Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht – all came somewhere in between, with congestion levels ranging from 15 percent in Utrecht to 26 percent in The Hague. 

Amsterdam was found to suffer from relatively few traffic jams in comparison to other European capital cities. With a congestion level of 18 percent – meaning a 30-minute journey is delayed by only 5,4 minutes – it’s beaten only by Madrid, Reykjavik, and Helsinki. Amsterdam’s low number of traffic jams can likely be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic and the government’s advice to work from home as much as possible, as well as a notable lack of tourists.

Traffic jams in the Netherlands

According to the 2021 TomTom Traffic Index, this is how Dutch cities compare when it comes to congestion levels: 

  1. Haarlem (28 percent)
  2. The Hague (26 percent)
  3. Groningen (22 percent)
  4. Leiden (21 percent)
  5. Apeldoorn (21 percent)
  6. Nijmegen (21 percent)
  7. Rotterdam (21 percent)
  8. Arnhem (21 percent)
  9. Breda (20 percent)
  10. Tilburg (20 percent)
  11. Eindhoven (19 percent)
  12. Amsterdam (18 percent)
  13. Amersfoort (18 percent)
  14. Zwolle (16 percent)
  15. Utrecht (15 percent)
  16. Den Bosch (15 percent)
  17. Almere (10 percent)

For more information about the ranking, visit the TomTom website.

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