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INRIX Reveals Congestion At Germany’s Worst Traffic Hotspots To Cost Drivers €48 Billion Over The Next Decade

The A7 in Hamburg is Home to the Most Congested Traffic Hotspot in Europe

  • INRIX Roadway Analytics, a new traffic analysis tool, identifies and ranks the impact of more than 45,000 traffic hotspots1 in 123 cities2 in 19 countries across Europe
  • In Germany, the worst traffic hotspots in 27 cities were identified and the cost to drivers of time wasted in congestion3 could amount to €47.6 billion over the next ten years3
  • Hamburg had more traffic hotspots than any other German city analysed, and time wasted in congestion at these locations could cost drivers in the city €7.7 billion by 2025
  • The A7 N at J29 HH-Othmarschen in Hamburg is Europe’s worst traffic hotspot and time wasted in gridlock here could cost drivers €1.3 billion over the next decade


Munich – November 30, 2016 – INRIX today published research on Europe’s worst traffic hotspots. Using INRIX Roadway Analytics, a new traffic analysis tool and the first of its kind to be available in Europe, INRIX analysed more than 200,000 traffic jams to identify and rank 45,662 traffic hotspots in 123 major cities in 19 European countries. INRIX also calculated the cost of congestion across all traffic hotspots to identify the price drivers in Europe are estimated to pay over the next ten years due to time wasted sitting in gridlock.

In Germany, INRIX Roadway Analytics identified and ranked 8,517 traffic hotspots in 27 cities. The ranking was determined by an ‘Impact Factor’4, which multiplied the average duration of a traffic jam with its average length and the number of times it occurred in September 20165. The economic cost to drivers in Germany as a result of time wasted at these traffic hotspots could amount to €47.6 billion over the next ten years if congestion levels are not reduced.

Hamburg had more traffic hotspots and also the highest Impact Factor compared to all cities analysed in Germany. The impact of hotspots in Hamburg was almost 40 percent more than the second ranked city, Munich. This also means Hamburg pays the highest price with time wasted in congestion potentially costing drivers €7.7 billion by 2025. High traffic levels in Hamburg can be explained in part by the fact that it is Germany’s second largest city and one of the most densely populated. It is also a major transportation hub as Europe’s second largest port.

“Only by identifying traffic hotspots and analysing their root causes can we effectively combat gridlock,” said Graham Cookson, Chief Economist, INRIX. “Some of the most effective traffic improvement measures have benefited from this approach. One example is the successful investment in the Luise-Kiesselbach-Platz tunnel on the “Mittlerer Ring” in Munich, Germany’s most congested road. Using INRIX Roadway Analytics, we saw average peak hour speeds increase by 10 km/h when the tunnel opened in July 2015, which is a rise of 31 percent.”


Table 1: INRIX Roadway Analytics Impact Factor Ranking – German Cities


Rank German City (population over 250k) No. of Traffic Hotspots Impact Factor



2025 Economic Cost of Congestion Worst Traffic Hotspot
1 Hamburg 1,305 1,264,783 €7.7bn A7 N at J29 HH-Othmarschen
2 Munich 841 917,570 €5.6bn B2R N (Mittlerer Ring) in Englischer Garten
3 Stuttgart 539 850,815 €5.2bn A8 W at J48 (B295) Leonberg-West
4 Cologne 740 816,260 €5.0bn A3 N at J25 (Koln-Mulheim)
5 Berlin 1,070 502,580 €3.1bn A100 N between J6 and J5
6 Frankfurt 448 471,315 €2.9bn A3 E after J53 (Oberthausen)
7 Hanover 290 378,308 €2.3bn A2 W between J46 (Hannover Lahe) and J47 (Hannover-Buchholz)
8 Duisburg 213 308,973 €1.9bn A3 N after J12 (Kreuz Oberhausen-West)
9 Karlsruhe 120 255,858 €1.6bn A5 (S) at J43 (Karlsruhe Nord)
10 Dusseldorf 373 219,346 €1.3bn B8 S at Junction with B1 and B7
11 Dortmund 247 202,121 €1.2bn A44 E at J53 (B233)
12 Bochum 121 180,969 €1.1bn A43 N after J12 (for A2 J8)
13 Dresden 287 169,726 €1.0bn A4 E between J79 (Dresden Neustadt) and J80 (Dresden Wilder Mann)
14 Essen 238 164,446 €1.0bn A40 W between J26 (L191) and J27 (L643)
15 Nuremberg 229 158,893 €972m A6 S before J92A (B299)
16 Braunschweig 138 147,313 €902m A2 E after J58 (Kreuz-Wolfsburg)
17 Wuppertal 102 146,340 €896m A46 W between J33(L429) and J34 (L70)
18 Bremen 133 144,616 €885m A1 N after J57 (Bremen-Brinkum)
19 Mannheim 90 73,324 €449m A656 N before J4 (L597)
20 Mönchengladbach 138 69,894 €428m A52 W between J7 and J8
21 Wiesbaden 94 66,091 €404m A3 N around Medenbach
22 Bielefeld 134 60,106 €368m B61 S (Ostwestfalendamm) Junction with A33 J19
23 Gelsenkirchen 73 54,694 €335m B224 S at Stadion Gladbeck
24 Bonn 117 50,821 €311m A555 at J8 with Potsdamer Platz
25 Leipzig 223 43,029 €263m B2 S Junction with Berliner Strase
26 Munster 142 42,690 €261m A1 N after K10 (Davert)
27 Augsburg 72 16,953 €104m B17 S where becomes B300
  Total Cost: €47.6bn  


The worst traffic hotspot in Germany, and of all cities analysed in Europe, is the A7 N at J29 HH-Othmarschen in Hamburg, which could cost drivers €1.3 billion over the next decade if congestion here is not reduced. The A8 W at J48 (B295) Leonberg-West in Stuttgart is a close second in the ranking. The cost of congestion at both of these traffic hotspots is more than double that of the third road in the ranking, the A3 N at J25 (Koln-Mulheim) in Cologne.


Table 2: INRIX Roadway Analytics Top 10 Traffic Hotspots in Germany


Rank German City (population over 250k) Worst Traffic Hotspot Ave. Duration (min) Ave. Length (miles) Total no. of Occurrences 2025 Economic Cost of Congestion


1 Hamburg A7 N at J29 HH-Othmarschen 94 8.7 257 €1.3bn
2 Stuttgart A8 W at J48 (B295) Leonberg-West 24 10.93 790 €1.3bn
3 Cologne A3 N at J25 (Koln-Mulheim) 56 6.89 264 €623m
4 Karlsruhe A5 (S) at J43 (Karlsruhe Nord) 92 5.75 178 €576m
5 Hanover A2 W between J46 (Hannover Lahe) and J47 (Hannover-Buchholz) 44 8.68 212 €496m
6 Braunschweig A2 E after J58 (Kreuz-Wolfsburg) 194 11.8 33 €462m
7 Stuttgart A8 W at J47 (Rutesheim) 46 18.64 87 €456m
8 Bremen A1 N after J57 (Bremen-Brinkum) 173 6.96 59 €435m
9 Munich B2R N (Mittlerer Ring) in Englischer Garten 314 3.11 63 €377m
10 Frankfurt A3 E 28 6.77 321 €372m


How Germany Compares with Europe

Munich, Stuttgart and Cologne also feature in the top ten European city ranking alongside Hamburg. The economic cost of time wasted in gridlock in these cities range from €5 billion in Cologne to €5.2 billion in Stuttgart to €5.6 billion in Munich. This compares to €47.7 billion in London, which by far has the highest impact of hotspots in the study and also has the largest population. However, all cities in the top ten have a proportionally high Impact Factor, and the cost to drivers in other European cities range from €3.8 billion in Milan to €9.6 billion in Rome.


Table 3: INRIX Roadway Analytics Impact Factor Ranking – Europe Cities


Rank European City (population over 250k) Country Number of Traffic Hotspots Impact Factor


2025 Economic Cost of Congestion
1 London UK 12,776 7,782,677 €47.6bn
2 Rome Italy 1,684 1,566,115 €9.6bn
3 Paris France 703 1,479,535 €9.1bn
4 Hamburg Germany 1,305 1,264,783 €7.7bn
5 Madrid Spain 837 1,017,770 €6.2bn
6 Antwerp Belgium 459 970,351 €5.9bn
7 Munich Germany 841 917,570 €5.6bn
8 Stuttgart Germany 539 850,815 €5.2bn
9 Cologne Germany 740 816,260 €5.0bn
10 Milan Italy 1,053 618,657 €3.8bn


The Autobahns on the outskirts of Hamburg and Stuttgart are at the top of the worst traffic hotspots in Europe ranking, with these two individual hotspots on the A7 and A8 potentially costing drivers €2.6 billion over the next ten years through time wasted in congestion. 40 percent of the top ten worst hotspots in Europe are in Germany, with roads in Cologne and Karlsruhe also featuring alongside roads in Antwerp, Luxembourg City and Paris.


Table 4: INRIX Roadway Analytics Top 10 Traffic Hotspots in Europe


Rank European City (population over 250k) Country Worst Traffic Hotspot 2025 Economic Cost of Congestion
1 Hamburg Germany A7 N at J29 HH-Othmarschen €1.3bn
2 Stuttgart Germany A8 W at J48 (B295) Leonberg-West €1.3bn
3 Antwerp Belgium R1 / E19 E and E34 E at J3 (Borgerhout) €1.1bn
4 London UK M25 N between J15 (M4) and J16 (M40) €801m
5 London UK M25 N between J16 (M40) and J17 (Rickmansworth) €652m
6 Cologne Germany A3 N at J25 (Koln-Mulheim) €623m
7 Antwerp Belgium R1 (E34) E after J3 (Borgerhout) €619m
8 Luxembourg Luxembourg A6 W before J4 (Strassen) € 618m
9 Paris France A1 S N at Junction with Boulevard Périphérique €611m
10 Karlsruhe Germany A5 S at J43 (Karlsruhe Nord) €576m


The table below provides the number of cities in each country with a population of 250,0002 or more that were analysed as part of the study. The cost to drivers in Europe of time wasted in congestion across all 45,662 traffic hotspots identified could amount to €207.9 billion by 2025.


Table 5: INRIX Roadway Analytics – Total Countries and Cities Analysed


Country No. of Cities (population over 250k) No. of Traffic Hotspots Impact Factor 2025 Economic Cost of Congestion
UK 21 20,375 11,466,416 €70.2bn
Germany 27 8,517 7,777,834 €47.6bn
Italy 12 5,069 3,540,815 €21.7bn
France 9 1,844 2,753,484 €16.9bn
Spain 16 2,335 1,950,810 €11.9bn
Belgium 3 925 1,457,345 €8.9bn
Netherlands 4 416 639,416 €3.9bn
Czech Republic 3 484 634,545 €3.9bn
Hungary 1 1,284 537,595 €3.3bn
Norway 2 432 519,331 €3.2bn
Sweden 3 461 433,584 €2.7bn
Austria 2 628 368,369 €2.3bn
Luxembourg 1 167 356,663 €2.2bn
Switzerland 1 214 356,658 €2.2bn
Portugal 1 311 307,512 €1.9bn
Poland 12 1,072 298,897 €1.8bn
Slovakia 1 306 285,362 €1.8bn
Denmark 2 449 164,231 €1.0bn
Finland 2 373 126,293 €773
Total (19) 123 45,662 33,975,160 207.9bn


To access the full research report, please visit:


INRIX Roadway Analytics

INRIX Roadway Analytics is the first traffic insight tool available in Europe that provides road authorities with quick and easy access to in-depth roadway analysis and visualisations.

Built on INRIX Traffic, which covers 1.4 million miles of road in 24 countries across Europe and available to users as a browser-based application, INRIX Roadway Analytics enables the efficient planning, monitoring and assessment of road performance.

The service is designed to help road authorities, transport agencies, city planners and consultancies to reduce cost of daily operations, pinpoint areas that benefit most from road improvements and more accurately measure and report the impact of their investments.

Click here to see a data visualisation of INRIX Roadway Analytics in action.

For details and to sign-up for the INRIX Roadway Analytics webinar please click here.




Notes to Editors

How is this study different from the annual INRIX Traffic Scorecard?

The annual INRIX Traffic Scorecard measures the total impact of congestion in terms of annual hours wasted for the typical car commuter in cities across Europe. It uses a different methodology and focuses specifically on peak (rush) hours and the busiest roads. It also adopts the statistical definition of a Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) commuter area.

INRIX Roadway Analytics has allowed INRIX to identify and cost individual ‘traffic hotspots’ that cause congestion to all drivers. This study does not focus on commuting roads or commuting times or LUZs. It looks at all roads within a ‘city’ for every hour of the study period and identifies the hotspots that are causing the worst congestion. INRIX also calculated the economic impact of time wasted in congestion at these traffic hotspots.


1 A key feature of INRIX Roadway Analytics is the Traffic Hotspot (Bottleneck) tool. Traffic Hotspots are locations where congestion or traffic jams occur, defined as observed speeds dropping below 65% of reference (uncongested) speed for at least 2 minutes.

2 Of the 19 countries featured in the study, all cities with more than an estimated 250,000 inhabitants in 2016 were included in the analysis. The study calls these ‘cities’ as there is no universally agreed definition of ‘city’.

3 The annual amount of time wasted at each traffic hotspot is estimated by assuming: the average traffic hotspot had 1.5 lanes of traffic; that 100 vehicles take up 1 kilometre of road space; and that each vehicle had an average of 1.2 occupants. Multiplying these numbers by the hotspot’s Impact Factor produces an estimate of the amount of time wasted at each hotspot in September 2016. An annual cost of this time can be made by multiplying the time wasted by 12 months and then monetised (i.e. converted into economic values) by multiplying it by the ‘value of time’ used by the UK Department of Transport. These costs are assumed to accrue for 10 years but future costs are discounted by the social discount rate of 3.5% per annum, because flows that we pay or receive in the future are worth less to us in today’s money.

4 The Traffic Hotspot tool in INRIX Roadway Analytics calculates the average length of all traffic jams at a hotspot, the average duration that they lasted and the number of jams that occurred at the hotspot during the study period. Multiplying these three statistics together produces the ‘Impact Factor’ – a measure of the scale or impact of each hotspot. This Impact Factor is used to rank traffic hotspots.

5 September 2016 was the latest full month of data available when the research was carried out by INRIX in October 2016. September is an average month as schools are in session and people are back at work across Europe.


Research Methodology

The Impact Factors produced by the INRIX Roadway Analytics tool were converted into estimates of hours wasted before estimating the economic cost using standard UK Department for Transport values of time. These were projected out 10 years and then discounted to generate the net present value of these savings. The results were tested by a sensitivity analysis. Further details on these steps are included in Notes to Editors, and the complete methodology, assumptions and sensitivity analysis are included in the full report.



INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics, a new approach that leverages big data and the cloud to help manage urban mobility. By aggregating a variety of sources and applying intelligence, INRIX delivers comprehensive data and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small.


Media Contacts

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