Paris traffic jams will become world’s costliest

Anyone who has ever been for a drive through Paris will know exactly what it's like to get stuck in a traffic jam, but it's not just time they are wasting, it's money too, and lots of it. And things are about to get a lot worse.

Paris traffic jams will become world's costliest
Traffic jams in Paris are set to become the costliest in the world, according to one survey. Photo: AFP
Anyone who needs to drive in Paris for a living, you should probably look away now.
The cost of traffic jams in the French capital are predicted to rise by 51 percent in the years to come, making the tail backs and snarl ups the costliest in the world by 2030.
At least that's according to a recent study by the traffic information service Inrix and the Centre for Economics and Business Research that looked at the knock-on effect in terms of cost of traffic jams in several cities around the world.
Currently the around €17 billion goes up in smog every year in France because of direct and indirect costs related to traffic jams – whether its the wasted fuel, lost work time, or increased wear and tear of vehicles.
That equates to around €46 million every day.
But Inrix forecasts those costs in France are set to rise by 30 percent in the next fifteen years, which put the overall bill at €22 billion a year. That compares to a rise of 63 percent in the UK and 50 percent in the US.
“If we don’t take action now, the saturation of key routes will have serious consequences for  countries’ economies, businesses and citizens in the years to come”, Matt Simmons, the director of  the INRIX Europe told Le Parisien newspaper.
But it's in Paris, where the number of inhabitants are set to rise by 5 percent, that most money will be wasted in traffic. That compares to a rise of 45 percent in London and 49 percent in Los Angeles.
However some experts predict the cost will actually be less than envisaged due to the fact the number of vehicles on the road is forecast to decrease in the years to come.
In terms of the amount of time lost in traffic jams, cities in developing nations such as Bangkok, Jakarta and Tehran have taken the lead.
According to a recent study motorists in France spend on average the equivalent of two days each year stuck in traffic jams.
But the worst city in the country for traffic jams isn't even Paris, another study revealed. It's actually Marseille.
by Simone Flückiger

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