Brisbane is the most congested city

Commuters in Brisbane may be unsurprised to learn it’s the most congested city in Australia. Not only that, it’s the 12th most congested city in the world. It even beats Rome, Bangkok and Washington.

In 2023, Brisbane commuters lost 74 hours because of traffic delays, according to INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard. That’s travelling about 30 kph for an average commute of only 12.5 kilometres.

Brisbane ranked ahead of Melbourne (22nd globally) with 62 hours lost and Sydney with 53 hours lost in traffic.

The worst roads in Brisbane

The worst roads in Brisbane, according to the RACQ  are:

  1. Pacific Motorway – between Coomera, Nerang, Logan and Gateway Motorway
  2. Bruce Highway – Pine River Bridge to Caloundra
  3. Centenary Motorway –Ipswich Motorway to Toowong
  4. Gateway Motorway.

Drivers going north to the Sunshine Coast have to pass along three of the four most congested roads in the state. Even at 6am, they give the impression of a car park.

Why is Brisbane a congested city?

According to the RACQ, Brisbane is congested because of incompleted projects and several bottlenecks. However, there is more to congestion than simply poor road planning and infrastructure:

  1. High rates of single occupant vehicles
  2. Underused public transport
  3. Poor driving
  4. Induced demand.

Brisbane is not the only city with a high proportion of single occupant vehicles. However, it may occur because of underuse, or lack of, public transport to major employment centres.

The way people drive in heavy traffic makes congestion worse. For example, sudden braking can cause everyone behind to brake suddenly causing those further behind to come to a complete standstill.

Finally, induced demand means the  more you widen a road, the more people will want to use that road. So the problem you wanted to solve is solved only temporarily.

In Dec 2023, there were 4.9 million registered vehicles in Qld, up 3.4% on Dec 22. More vehicles on the road means more chance of accidents leading to claims on CTP. Choose your insurer here.