By Maria Savva
THE economic crisis and resulting unemployment has led to a significant drop in traffic around Nicosia city centre, officials said on Monday.
The capital has seen a 6-12 per cent decline overall, with an average 2-3 per cent drop during the morning commute.
According to Alexis Avgoustis, an executive engineer and transport planner from the Division of Traffic Research at the Department of Public Works, traffic movement in 2013 and 2014 had been recently analysed.
“When comparing traffic data from the 2013 school year to a traffic analysis done from September 2014 to the start of the school there has been a decrease in the traffic on the major roads leading into the city centre,” he said.
The analysis showed a 6-12 per cent decrease in Nicosia daily traffic, especially on Limassol Avenue and Strovolos Avenue which serve 50,000 and 41,000 vehicles respectively in both directions each day.Data shows that approximately 29,000 vehicles per day enter Nicosia from the highway, of which 3,300 to 3,500 vehicles per day circulate between 7am and 8am.
Vehicle movement is recorded at the Latsia weighing station.
“Although traffic has increased since the summer period, compared with data from 2013, the decline is noticeable during the day, even during the morning peak, traffic has declined about 2-3 per cent compared to last year. It appears that because of unemployment some drivers travel at different times although the decrease appears during the hourly analysis at all the peak times,” he said.
According to the traffic analysis Nicosia traffic coming and going is as follows:
– Strovolos Avenue – A total of 43,800 vehicles per day travelled each way along the artery in 2013 compared to 41,000 per day in 2014.
– Archangelos Avenue – A total of 15,600 vehicles travelled in and out of the capital per day in 2013, down to 14,000 vehicles per day in 2014.
– Iosif Hadjiiosif Avenue – A total of 24,400 vehicles per day travelled the road in 2013compared to 22,000 per day in 2014.
– Limassol Avenue – A total of 52,300 vehicles per day entered and left the capital in 2013, but this was down to 50,700 vehicles per day in 2014.
Traffic data is provided by the system recording traffic data for the Department of Public Works, that has been upgraded through the co-funded project DIAVLOS, which provides the public with information on its website www.traffic4cyprus.org.cy.