By 24 March 2016 | Categories: news


TomTom has released the results of the TomTom Traffic Index 2016, its annual report detailing the cities around the world with the most traffic congestion. And for drivers in Cape Town, it is once again bad news, as the Mother City is revealed to be the most congested in South Africa – just as the year before.

Drivers in Cape Town can expect to spend 30% extra travel time stuck in traffic anytime of the day, and up to 64%, on a Friday between 16:00 and 17:00 peak periods, versus a free flow, or uncongested situation – adding up to 152 hours of extra travel time per year. Next in the rankings for congestion are Johannesburg (27%), East London (25%) and Bloemfontein (16%) making up the top four most congested cities in South Africa. However, it’s positive news in Pretoria and Durban where traffic congestion is easing.

Using data from 2015, the TomTom Traffic Index looks at the traffic congestion situation in 295 cities in 38 countries on six continents – from Rome to Rio, Singapore to San Francisco. TomTom works with 14 trillion data points that have been accumulated over eight years. 

Congestion up globally

When viewing TomTom’s historical data, traffic congestion is up by 13% globally since 2008. But, interestingly, there are strong differences between continents, according to TomTom. While North America’s traffic congestion has increased by 17%, Europe as has only increased by 2%. It could be suggested that this points to economic growth in North America, and economic depression in the rest of Europe. This European figure could be heavily influenced by Southern European countries such as Italy (-7%) and Spain (-13%) where there has been a marked drop in traffic congestion in the past eight years.

Ralf-Peter Schaefer, VP TomTom Traffic, said: “The TomTom Traffic Index is released every year to help drivers, cities and transport planners to understand traffic congestion trends but, most importantly, how to improve congestion globally. We really want everybody to think about how they can lower the amount of time they waste in traffic every day – and to realise that we all need to play a part. If even just five per cent of us changed our travel plans, we’d improve travel times on our major highways by up to thirty per cent. Collectively, we can all work together to beat traffic congestion.”

People can find out more about the TomTom Traffic Index, and discover where their home city ranks at There’s also helpful advice on beating traffic congestion, as well as independent analysis. And, for the first time, a selection of ‘Profile Cities’ provide insight into what they are doing to improve mobility.

Overall ranking of most congested cities in South Africa in 2015 (Overall daily congestion level – extra travel time):

  1. Cape Town 25%  
  2. Johannesburg 18%  
  3. East London 10%  
  4. Pretoria 12%  
  5. Durban 11%

Ranking of the most congested cities Globally in 2015 (Overall daily congestion level – extra travel time – population over 800,000):

  1. Mexico City 59%
  2. Bangkok 57%
  3. Istanbul 50%
  4. Rio de Janeiro 47%
  5. Moscow 44%

Ranking of the most congested cities in Europe in 2015 (Overall daily congestion level – extra travel time – population over 800,000):

  1. Moscow 44%
  2. Bucharest 43%
  3. Saint-Petersburg 40%
  4. Warsaw 38%
  5. Rome 38%


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