48,807 hours!: Record traffic jams on Swiss national roads in 2023

48,807 hours!: Record traffic jams on Swiss national roads in 2023
48,807 hours!: Record traffic jams on Swiss national roads in 2023

In Switzerland, national roads are increasingly overloaded. In 2023, the duration of traffic jams jumped by 22.4% compared to the previous year, reaching a record of 48,807 hours.

More and more traffic jams: national roads must cope with ever-increasing traffic (archive photo)

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Motorways, semi-motorways and third-class national roads only represent barely 3% of the entire road network, the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) said on Monday. But they absorbed around 45% of vehicle kilometers traveled in Switzerland in 2023.

Last year recorded 29.6 billion vehicle-kilometres traveled on the national road network, an increase of 1.5% year-on-year. Passenger cars represent 84% of the total, with 24.9 billion vehicle-kilometres (+2.9%). Around 87% of traffic jam hours are attributable to traffic overload.

National roads remain heavily used for road transport of goods. They absorb 68.3% of vehicle-kilometres traveled by trucks, vans and other delivery vehicles.

The faster increase in traffic jam hours compared to vehicle kilometers shows the limits of the national road network, FEDRO emphasizes. They can no longer cope with traffic overloads despite measures taken to optimize the flow.

Various measures

To improve traffic flow, FEDRO primarily uses traffic management facilities, such as speed harmonization systems or temporary reallocations of emergency lanes. In some places, however, these measures are not enough to absorb the increasing number of kilometers traveled.

Specific adjustments aimed at eliminating the most severe bottlenecks are then necessary. These widenings aim to guarantee the flow of traffic, reduce avoidance traffic and ensure the resilience of the national road network.

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