As a direct consequence of the pandemic and the health measures taken to contain it, road traffic fell in 2020 and with it, traffic jams.
A finding that is true in the vast majority of major cities in the world, according to the tenth edition of the TomTom traffic index.
The study establishes a ranking of cities according to their congestion rate, that is to say the additional time spent on the road compared to a normal journey.
The geolocation technology specialist analyzed the traffic situation in 416 cities across 57 countries.
The index is measured using data transmitted by the 600 million drivers who use TomTom technology via smartphones or integrated systems.
Of the 416 cities analyzed worldwide, 387 experienced a decrease in traffic congestion.
The rate of road congestion in the world's largest cities fell by 19% in 2020 and even by 26% during rush hour.
This drop radically reverses the trend of the last ten years, during which road traffic has continued to increase, the study says.
From border closures to confinements, mobility has been quickly and deeply impacted,”
notes Ralf-Peter Schäfer, vice president of traffic at TomTom.
The decline was greatest in North America, with congestion reducing 29% and even up to 40% during rush hour.
European motorists saw their time spent in traffic jams decrease by 16% while in Asia, the decrease was 11%.
The most congested city in the world, Moscow has a consistently high congestion rate of 55%, which means a journey through the city takes 55% longer than it would under normal traffic conditions.
Paris is in 42nd place in the ranking, with a congestion rate of 32%, which places it at the top of the most congested cities in France ahead of Marseille and Bordeaux.
The average reduction in traffic jams in the 25 French cities studied was 14%.
Rush hour delays have decreased by 21%.
More significantly, in April 2020, in full confinement and at the height of the Covid crisis, the drop reached 78%.
During the second containment last November, the level of congestion fell by 61%.
Index data also showed that October 29, the day before the second lockdown, was the most congested day for 23 of the 25 cities analyzed.