Over 32.000 hours of traffic jams were recorded in Switzerland in 2021
In 2021, the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) recorded 32.481 hours' worth of traffic jams on Swiss roads and motorways. Drivers in Switzerland spent a collective 3,7 years sitting in traffic last year, with the majority of jams being blamed on a lack of capacity.
A1 found to be the most congested motorway in Switzerland
After a significant slump recorded in 2020, mainly due to COVID lockdowns, FEDRO said that traffic levels in 2021 were some of the worst it has ever recorded. In all, 32.481 hours' worth of jams were detected across the whole 12 months.
This means that, on average, there were 40 separate traffic jams every day lasting longer than two hours. In some areas, such as passes through the Swiss mountains, traffic jams stretched for up to 15 kilometres, especially during the school holidays.
FEDRO found that the most congested roads in Switzerland are the A1 - particularly around Zurich and Solothurn - the A8 near Interlaken, and the A2 between Altdorf and Bellinzona. Highways around Swiss cities, such as Geneva, Lausanne, Basel and Winterthur, were also found to have strong and continuous traffic jams.
89 percent of traffic jams in Switzerland caused by lack of capacity
In their report, FEDRO found that 89 percent of traffic jams were caused when the road was simply not large enough to accommodate the number of vehicles using the route. In comparison, only 9 percent of jams were caused by road accidents, and only 1 percent were caused due to construction sites.
"The network is so busy at peak times that even small disturbances are enough to cause prolonged traffic jams," FEDRO concluded. The report has sparked a renewed debate in the government between those that want to expand the road network, such as advocates of plan 2050, and those who believe that adding capacity for cars will only encourage more people to drive, making traffic worse.