Traffic congestion: best and worst cities in SA

TomTom has announced that its congestion index has come to South Africa, measuring traffic in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban.

The index relies on anonymous travel time information gathered from its customers, which TomTom said lets them see real-life driving patterns rather than relying on theoretical models.

According to TomTom, they compare travel times during non-congested periods with travel times in peak hours on local roads, arterials, and highways. The difference is expressed as a percentage increase in travel time.

Sample size is expressed in total number of measured kilometres for the period (Q1 2012), TomTom said.

The table below shows the indices as calculated by TomTom:

Dimension Johannesburg Cape Town Durban
Rank 1 2 3
24/7 congestion 32% 27% 16%
Highways 18% 23% 13%
Non-Highways 39% 33% 26%
Delay per hour at peak 37min 34min 15min
Delay per year with 30min commute 87h 83h 46h
Morning peak 88% 82% 45%
Evening peak 65% 56% 45%
Weekdays 37% 31% 19%
Weekends 13% 17% 8%
Most congested day 15 Mar 2012 (Thu) 16 Mar 2012 (Fri) 23 Mar 2012 (Fri)
Average free flow speed 63km/h 69km/h 78km/h
Average worst peak period speed 56km/h 63km/h 76km/h
Total network length 2,590km 788km 1,614km
Network length: highways 311km 258km 363km
Network length: non-highways 2,278km 529km 1,251km
Total vehicle kilometres 4,498,347km 1,008,495km 817,730km

As might be expected, Johannesburg was rated as the most congested city overall in South Africa for the first quarter of 2012.

It was interesting to see that Cape Town has a higher congestion index on its highways and on weekends, however.

TomTom also included graphs to show which days of the week had the worst (and best) traffic flow.

These are shown side-by-side below, where the coloured bars represent the congestion level with the best and worst periods indicated in green and red respectively:

TomTom SA congestion index 2012 Q1
TomTom SA congestion index 2012 Q1

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Traffic congestion: best and worst cities in SA