Dublin one of worst cities in world for traffic congestion

Only drivers in Bogota and Rome spent more time stuck in cars

Dublin is now one of the worst cities in the world to be a driver, with commuters spending almost 250 hours stuck in cars travelling at less than 10km per hour last year.

Research from motor data company Inrix suggests Dublin commuters spent a total of 246 hours or more than 10 full days in their cars in 2018.

Of the more than 200 cities in 38 countries surveyed, only drivers in Bogota and Rome spent more time stuck in traffic: 272 and 254 hours respectively.

Slowest speeds

When it comes to speeds travelled at peak times, the news was even worse for Dublin’s motorists. Drivers in the capital travelled at the slowest city centre speeds with the average speed travelled put at just 9.6 kilometres per hour at peak times.


The data on Dublin, as with all cities, was collated from a wide variety of sources, measuring car movements for six months between February and July of 2017 and 2018.

Trevor Reed, transport analyst at Inrix who authored the report, told The Irish Times the company uses a "mosaic of data" to graph a detailed picture of traffic patterns, including anonymised in-car sat-nav and mobile phone based GPS data, and sensor information provided by various transportation departments.

Traffic movements are then calculated as it passes a system of parameters in each city.

While Dublin is among the worst cities for drivers, when all the impacts of traffic congestion including costs of motoring, distances travelled and traffic jams, Moscow was deemed to be the worst city for motorists followed by Istanbul and Bogota.

‘Stuck in traffic’

“This is not the sort of list you want to see your name on and being close to the top when it comes to being stuck in traffic is not a proud boast,” said the AA’s Conor Faughnan.

He stressed that while there were multiple methodologies for measuring congestion “no matter what one is used, Dublin will never do well. The fact is it is a congested city and when the economy is growing there is always more congestion and that is what we are seeing now.”

He said that if the traffic problems in the city are to be tackled in a meaningful way, money will have to be spent on public transport and the manner in which land in the city centre is used will have to be addressed.

“This is a medium-size European city and we have no excuse for being on a list like this,” he said.

“It is absurd for a relatively small city to feature so prominently and it shows that we have to see more investment in public transport, a better use of land, and the provision of more cycling facilities. Until that happens it is always going to remain a congested city.”

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times