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 |  Jun 16 2011, 10:07 AM

At least that’s the findings from the latest study by navigation product manufacturer Tom Tom, which highlights traffic blackspots in Europe.

Not only is Brussels the top of the list when it comes to congestion among big European centers, but it’s traffic is getting worse, with an increase in volume by some 1.2 percent this year over 2010.

Things aren’t much better across the channel in the UK. It’s three largest cities, London, Birmingham and Manchester are all in the top 15 when it comes to congestion hot spots (London is number 3) and in fact out of the top 50 towns and cities listed in the study, no fewer than 16 are in the UK, ranking Britain as the worst country in Europe when it comes to motoring gridlock.

Nevertheless some parts of the UK, notably Northern Ireland have seen significant drops in traffic volume. Belfast has seen a reduction by around 2 percent, while south of the border in EIRE, Dublin has seen a 9.7 percent drop in the last year.

Still, both these cities lag behind Cologne, in Germany; Tom Tom’s findings revealed that just 18.9 percent of its roads were congested.

The data for the to 50 most congested European cities was compiled using real travel time databases, highlighting how fast cars can actually move on a given road, with congestion being defined if motorists can only reach 70 percent or less of the posted speed limit. The survey was also limited to towns and cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants and 200 km (125 miles) of road network.