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So is Dublin really worse than London for traffic gridlock?

AN index placing Dublin as the sixth most congested city in Europe appears to contradict city council research.

Dublin was ranked ahead of London for congestion -- based on the information compiled by satnav firm TomTom.

The index found Dublin's congestion level rose from 24.2pc last year -- when it was the 24th worst in Europe -- to 30pc, bringing it to sixth place.

It means a journey that takes 20 minutes when traffic is moving freely takes 30pc longer -- an additional six minutes -- at peak times.

On Mondays and Fridays, motorists experience the least congestion, but the opposite is the case on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

London, which has a much larger population but also an excellent public transport system, has a congestion level of 27pc, putting it in eight place.







Congested

Poland's capital Warsaw is ranked as the most congested city in Europe, with a congestion level of 42pc.

It is followed by Marseilles in France, which was given a 41pc level.

TomTom chief executive Harold Goddijn said: "Even when only a percentage of drivers use a different and faster route, the available capacity on the entire road network increases, which benefits all drivers."

But research carried out by Dublin City Council suggests traffic volumes in the core area are actually on the decline.

A survey carried out last November indicated the number of private cars entering the central city area every day fell to its lowest level in five years.

The figures show volumes decreased by 10.9pc in a decade and 3.6pc between 2010 and 2011. In contrast, bicycle-use was on the rise.

Between 2001 to 2011, the volume of pedal cyclists in the city increased by over 35pc, the data indicated.

The council conducts traffic counts every year at 33 locations around the cordon formed by the Royal and Grand Canals.

The counts take place during November each year, between the hours of 7am and 10am. The results provide a snapshot of volumes on particular days.

Dublin's new Lord Mayor Naoise O Muiri cast doubt on the TomTom index results.

He said he has not seen any major worsening of congestion in the past year, adding that he would like to know more about TomTom's methodology before giving the study credence.

According to the data gathered by the council last November, some 60,607 private cars including taxis and 6,870 cyclists are entering the cordon daily.

comurphy@herald.ie