Drivers in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) spent over 50,000 hours in 161,000 kilometres of traffic jams in 2012, making the state’s roads the busiest in the country, it was reported on Monday.
NRW’s traffic jams accounted for more than a quarter of all jams nationwide in 2012, drivers’ association ADAC told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung – and its prognosis for the coming year looks little better.
Köln, for example, has problems with ageing bridges that would mean shutting some of them off for repairs, spokeswoman Jacqueline Grünewald told the paper. “Things probably won’t improve in the new year,” she warned.
Grünewald’s prediction was confirmed on many people’s first day back to work from the Christmas break when 100 kilometres of traffic jams were recorded across the state.
Most affected is the A1 autobahn where people sat in traffic for 8,800 hours last year. On the A3, drivers sat motionless for 8,600 hours, while the A40 between Venlo and Dortmund was a little more free-flowing, racking up 5,900 hours of jams.