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Bottlenecks and delays: Which Swiss cities have the worst traffic?

Switzerland may not be known for bad traffic, but there are some frustrating congestion points which can see people lose dozens of hours a year. Here's where it gets the worst.

The Hardbrücke in the city of Zurich. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash
The Hardbrücke in the city of Zurich. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

TomTom GPS has unveiled its annual statistics for the most congested cities in the world.  

The findings cover 404 cities across 58 countries and focus on which urban areas suffer from the most congestion. 

READ MORE: Which Swiss canton has the worst drivers?

Where are Switzerland’s cities placed?

Fortunately, Switzerland again ranked relatively low from a global perspective, with no Swiss city in the top 70 internationally. 

The findings show that Geneva is the 75th worst city globally in terms of traffic jams, but first in Switzerland.

Drivers in the western Swiss city lose 69 hours each year stuck in bottlenecks.

Zurich follows closely in the 77th place and Lugano in the 93rd.

This TomTom chart shows the congestion level as well as time lost in traffic in Switzerland’s six major cities.

Geneva, Zurich and Lugano are in the second worst category globally, while Lausanne, Basel and Bern are in the third worst. 

Tom Tom uses navigation technology to see where people are moving and how fast, thereby giving an indication as to how much time is spent in traffic. 

While Geneva drivers may have lost the most time on the whole, the highest congestion was seen in Lugano, where a 75 percent rate was hit in the middle of summer 2021. 

Things could be set to get slower in Switzerland, with several Swiss cities planning to cap speed limits at 30km/h

What are the world’s worst cities and regions for traffic?

The worst city in the world for traffic is the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul, which has an average congestion level of 62 percent. 

This is followed by Moscow, Kiev, Bogota and Mumbai. 

EXPLAINED: How does roadside assistance work in Switzerland?

There are three Russian cities in the top ten, with Moscow second, St Petersburg seventh and Novosibirsk ninth. 

There are two Ukrainian cities – Kiev (third) and Odessa (sixth) – and two Indian cities, Mumbai (fifth) and Bengaluru (tenth). 

Western European cities do not feature highly in the list, with Dublin (35th), Palermo (36th) and Paris 37th). 

More information about the ranking can be seen here

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Bern central station renovation to be delayed by two years

Not everything runs on time in Switzerland.

Bern central station renovation to be delayed by two years

The renovation and expansion of the central station in the Swiss capital of Bern will be delayed by two years, authorities announced on Wednesday. 

EXPLAINED: How to find cheap train tickets in Switzerland

The works on the station, Switzerland’s second largest, were set to be completed in 2027 but will now not be finished until 2029. 

The Swiss federal railways (SBB), Bern railways (RBS) and the city of Bern made the announcement on February 16th, saying geological issues, the Covid pandemic and other problems will see the plans delayed.

“Demanding geological conditions and hydrological difficulties, contaminated sites, the corona pandemic and a lack of options for acceleration are delaying construction work on the highly complex large-scale project of the future Bern train station” they said in a press statement. 

The delays will also push the costs of the project higher, by between CHF100 and CHF150 million francs. 

The expansion and renovation project was deemed necessary due to increasing traffic in the station, which regularly hits capacity at peak times. 

READ MORE: Why is Bern the ‘capital’ of Switzerland?

Work has been underway since 2017. 

In addition to the construction of a new station under the existing SBB tracks, the renovation will build an additional pedestrian underpass, which will be completed in 2028.

Two new station entrances will be constructed, while the surrounding area of the station will also be incorporated into the project so as to minimise bottlenecks during peak times.