Congestion worsening in Copenhagen

While journey times on the capital’s roads are getting longer, traffic conditions remain far worse in Stockholm and Oslo

Share price has been rising steadily since January (photo: iStock)
July 12th, 2012 12:43 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Car journeys in Copenhagen have become significantly longer due to congestion, according to satellite navigation firm TomTom.

Their figures show that congestion makes journeys 16 percent longer than if the roads were free flowing, up from 13.9 percent longer the year before.

TomTom called the increase “significant”, and Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for technical and environmental affairs, Ayfer Baykal, argued that the numbers indicated a need for action.

“It doesn’t matter whether I look at this number, the numbers for air pollution or the numbers for noise, my conclusion is clear: there are too many cars in the city,” Baykal said.

The government attempted to introduce a congestion charge for Copenhagen following its election last September but had to abandon the plan after broad political and popular opposition.

As a compromise, opposition party Dansk Folkeparti and the far-left Enhedslisten joined with the government to establish a Congestion Commission that will present a combined strategy in August 2013 for tackling Copenhagen’s congestion.

“I think it is important that the commission should be allowed to think outside the box and present new ideas before I present a new demand for a congestion charge,” Baykal said.

Opposition MP Martin Geertsen (Venstre) told Politiken newspaper that while he remained opposed to a congestion charge for Copenhagen, he recognised that action needed to be taken to ease traffic problems.

“Personally I think that more people will choose public transport if it made sense to them,” Geertsen said. “But it’s not just about ticket prices as the government argues. I think it has to do with better integrating timetables so public transport flows better. There's currently no single authority that keeps track of the entire timetable, but there should be.”

Copenhagen’s increased congestion helped it rise from the 29th to 26th most congested city in Europe.

The capital’s problems are minor compared with Oslo and Stockholm, however.

In Stockholm – the eighth most congested city of the 31 cities TomTom looked at – congestion increased travel times by 27 percent, while in Oslo – the 15th most congested – journeys were 24 percent longer.

With Copenhagen’s population expected to increase by 100,000 over the next decade traffic planners say congestion will only get worse unless steps to discourage people from driving are taken.

Share price has been rising steadily since January (photo: iStock)
Novo Nordisk to join elite Stoxx Europe 50 index
The medicinal giant Novo Nordisk will soon take its place on the prestigiou...
The historic institute was founded in 1921 (photo: Soerfm)
Man jailed for setting fire to Niels Bohr Institute
A man has been jailed for setting fire to the historic Niels Bohr Institute...
Chilean wines are up-and-coming (photo: iStock)
Chilly and arid: a vast mosaic of terroirs and soil types
Vino at the Chateau Carsten Pedersen, nemlig.com An up-and-coming favo...
Wonder if the overpriced food will go digital as well (photo: B Lund)
Lego goes digital … again
Fans of digital block-building games everywhere can once again build their ...
Are you ready for Copenhagen's largest street festival? (photo: Distortion)
Do not adjust your seats: This is Distortion!
Distortion June 3-7; various locations; tickets at billetlugen.dk; distort...
Kids can also celebrate Distortion (photo: iStock)
Who said Distortion was only for adults?
Distortion for Kids Final Party Sat 6 June, 12:00-16:00; Fisketorvet, Kalv...