Despite calls to limit social contacts, traffic has been increasing in Luxembourg city during the past two weeks. Photo: Matic Zorman
Despite concerning numbers of covid-19 infections and increasing pressure on hospitals, the level of traffic congestion has been very high in recent weeks.
Looking at the levels of traffic congestion across Luxembourg gives an idea of the intensity of flows in the country. Thus also being an indicator of people’s tendencies to go to work or limit their social contacts--the latter playing a crucial part in fighting the spread of the novel virus.
However, what can be seen in the TomTom Traffic index--that studies the level of congestion on roads, particularly in Luxembourg city--is that the figures have started to rise again over the past two weeks.
Traffic congestion rate in Luxembourg city
After an uptake of traffic jams with the start of the new school year, reaching a level equivalent to that of 2019 at the end of September, congestion on the roads slightly decreased. And during the first week of November, just after the introduction of a curfew in Luxembourg and the lockdown in France, the lowest levels since the summer holidays were recorded, with 40% less than during the same time last year.
Similar to 2019
A result of the new, more restrictive measures, which may also have increased public awareness. But the effect was short-lived, and traffic jams increased again the following week, to continue to rise this week and reach very standard levels of traffic congestion, similar to those of 2019.
Despite the worrying number of covid-19 cases across Luxembourg, people are travelling on the roads as usual, and clearly continue to go to work, the shops and bars or restaurants even though one of the most effective measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus is the limitation of social contacts.
The potential--and likely, given the latest figures--closure of cafes and restaurants, if inrroduced next week, may limit this upward trend or even reverse the curve. In particular by limiting the number of visitors from countries with stricter lockdowns.
This article was original published in French on Paperjam.lu and translated and edited for Delano.