Published On: Tue, Feb 27th, 2024

Inside Spain’s most congested city where drivers lose 48 hours a year sitting in traffic | World | News

A city with links to British history has been named the most congested in Spain.

Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital city of the Basque Country in northern Spain, was the first Spanish city named in a ranking focused on traffic levels created by navigation and map technology specialist TomTom. 

While the city centre of Vitoria-Gasteiz was the most congested in 2023, the analysis suggested, the Spanish area came in 59th position overall in the worldwide rankings.

The second Spanish city found in the ranking was Gijon, a large coastal city home to more than 271,000 people which came in the 81st position.

Barcelona and Madrid – cities counting a much higher number of residents and visitors than Vitoria-Gasteiz and Gijon – came in 99th and 124th position respectively. 

Featuring 387 cities in 55 nations spread across six continents, the Traffic Index ranked locations by their average travel time, fuel costs and CO2 emissions.

The city with the worst traffic in the world, according to this analysis, was the UK’s capital London.

There, the analysis suggested, it took in 2023 an average of nearly 38 minutes to travel only six miles. 

For comparison, in Vitoria-Gasteiz, it took on average 21 minutes to travel the same distance, a 10-second improvement compared to data gathered in 2022.

While motorists in London lost 148 hours throughout 2023 at rush hour, drivers in Vitoria wasted 48 hours over the 12-month period.

Vitoria-Gasteiz is a bustling city home to the palaces of power of the autonomous Basque Country. 

This city, where more than 249,000 people live, is also known as Vittoria in older English-language sources.

Its link with Britain can be found in June 1813, when it was the stage of one of the most famous events of the Napoleonic Wars – the Battle of Vitoria.

During this clash, the Duke of Wellington leading Spanish, Portuguese and British soldiers quashed the French army and nearly captured Joseph Bonaparte, then the puppet monarch of France. 

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