Traffic jams not just frustrating but also very expensive
Traffic jams in Switzerland are costing the economy nearly CHF 2 billion a year, according to the latest figures from the Swiss Office for Spatial Development, which says that the financial cost of delays on the country’s roads rose by seven per cent between 2010 and 2015 to CHF 1.9 billion.
The office said yesterday that time wasted in long traffic queues accounted for 70% of the cost, up 14 per cent from 2010. Dealing with accidents makes up a quarter of all costs of traffic jams, amounting to CHF 450 million in 2015.
Knowing how much traffic delays cost the economy is useful in developing infrastructure and traffic management. Short term solutions to keep traffic flowing on Swiss roads include encouraging flexible working hours and teleworking. Longer term solutions include financial incentives, such as a traffic congestion charge.
According to the Transport and Environment Association, another effective way to reduce traffic jams is to regulate driving speeds. The association says that reducing speed limits can increase the capacity of roads and make them safer for everyone.