Brussels was crowned the most congested city in Belgium in a new international traffic ranking which also found that overall road congestion had risen in Belgium in 2019.
The TomTom Traffic Index, published on Thursday, found that the average rate of traffic congestion in Belgium had been of 30% last year, and of 38% of Brussels, up by one percentage point from 2018.
The average traffic congestion for a single city represents the average added driving time brought on by traffic congestion, meaning that traffic jams in Brussels add an average of 30 minutes of driving time to any given driver’s route.
Belgium’s traffic congestion rate was therefore just above the global average rate, which the index said had been of 29% last year.
The city of Mons clinched the second position in the Belgian ranking, which noted that traffic congestion rate in the Walloon city had nearly doubled, going from 18% in 2018 to 34% last year.
The city of Antwerp rounded up the Belgian top three, with average traffic congestion of 32% in 2019, an increase of one percentage point, like in Brussels.
In Brussels, the ranking said that the worst day for traffic had been Friday, 6 December, where roads were up to 69% more congested. Antwerp’s worse day was Wednesday, 29 May (55% more congestion), while Mons’ was Wednesday 9 October (79% more congestion).
In the international ranking of 416 cities across 57 countries, Belgium was one of the 239 cities where road congestion went up, compared to only 63 cities where traffic flowed more fluently last year.
In Brussels, the ranking found that the average time drivers spent stuck in rush hour traffic jams was of 174 hours, or 7 days and 6 hours every year.
In that time, the index calculated that drivers could have finished (and restarted) reading Marcel Proust’s 4,000-page “In Search of Lost Time,” completed 35 500-piece puzzles, cooked more than 5,000 pancakes or planted 175 trees.