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The worst cities in France for traffic jams revealed

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 11 Oct, 2021 Updated Mon 11 Oct 2021 12:54 CEST
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A traffic jam on the A7 motorway near Lyon, one of the most congested cities in France. Photo: PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP.

A new study has revealed the French cities where commuters spent the most time sitting in traffic in September, and the worst city of all may surprise you. (Hint: it's not Paris...)


It may only be the 11th largest city in France, but Rennes in Brittany is where you will have to deal with the most traffic jams when commuting to work, according to a report published on Friday by Auto Plus magazine.

Using GPS statistics from TomTom, the study analysed an average commute (30 minutes each way when the roads are clear) in 25 French cities in September, based on 22 return journeys at rush hour. It found that the average worker in Rennes spent more than 40 hours in the car last month, including 18 hours lost to traffic jams.

Marseille came in second, with an average of 17 hours and 22 minutes wasted over the course of the month; and Bordeaux was third at just under 17 hours.


Then came Lyon, Toulon and Nantes, meaning the greater Paris area was only the seventh worst city for congestion, with commuters spending 15 hours and 40 minutes sitting in traffic jams.

End of remote working

You may have noticed that there seem to be more cars on the roads now that everyone has gone back to school and work compared to the same period last year, and the figures confirm the trend.

READ ALSO Road deaths fall in France despite return to pre-pandemic traffic levels

In Rennes, commuters spent an extra three and a half hours in the car compared to September 2020, when working from home was more prevalent. The worst increases though were in Bordeaux (up 3 hours, 54 minutes) and Lyon (3 hours, 37 minutes). Of the 25 cities studied, only in Tours did people spend less time behind the wheel than they did last year, with commute times falling by 1 hour and 42 minutes.

As well as changes to government guidelines around remote working, the fall in public transport usage caused by fears of catching Covid-19 may also explain why many people in France have complained that traffic jams have felt worse than ever since the rentrée. Traffic on major roads in the Ile-de-France region was 16 percent higher than in September 2019, before the pandemic, according to figures from traffic info service Bison Futé cited by Auto Plus.

And with the cold weather approaching, the situation is unlikely to get better any time soon.






The Local 2021/10/11 12:54

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