Number of traffic jams in Switzerland surges by 22 percent in a year

Number of traffic jams in Switzerland surges by 22 percent in a year

New data from the Federal Roads Office (Astra) has revealed that the number of traffic jams on Swiss roads and motorways reached a new high in 2022. Last year, drivers in Switzerland spent a collective 39.863 hours in traffic, the most that has ever been recorded by the government.

Swiss vehicles collectively travelled 29,3 billion kilometres in 2022

After a lull caused by the COVID pandemic, vehicles in Switzerland collectively drove a total of 29,3 billion kilometres in 2022, an increase of 6,7 percent compared to 2021. Interestingly, 41 percent of all journeys taken in the alpine nation used less than 3 percent of the overall road network - most of which were stretches of motorway.

The most commonly used roads in Switzerland last year were the motorways going in and out of Zurich, the main highway between Zurich and Bern, the motorway between Geneva and Lausanne and the roads leading into Basel. Along with accommodating the most passenger traffic, federal highways also hosted more than 70 percent of road cargo journeys.

Record amount of traffic jams recorded in Switzerland

This concentration of vehicles in such a small area has a price though. In 2022, cars in Switzerland spent a collective 39.863 hours in traffic jams last year, a whopping 22,7 percent increase compared to 2021. Astra noted that it has never recorded so many traffic jams.

More than half of all jams were concentrated in Canton Zurich, Aargau, Basel, Bern, Solothurn, Lucerne, Ticino and in the region around Lake Geneva. Astra argued that the results show that the Swiss road network is at its limits, with 85 percent of jams being caused because there were simply too many cars on the same stretch of road.

To combat the increase in traffic, Astra promised to expand the use of road calming measures and traffic management systems across the network. At the same time, the Swiss government has promised billions toward expanding the road network, with parliament currently debating an 11,6 billion franc fund, which will be used to upgrade the motorway system.

Thumb image credit: / Stefano Ember

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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