Total traffic analysis 2022

Traffic figures 2023 per quarter with percentage differences compared to 2022.

Q1: + 4,7 %

Compared to last year, the number of passenger car crossings increased by + 8.7% in Q1. Freight traffic dropped slightly by - 0.4 %.  There are a number of elements that influence the aforementioned figures:

  • January 2022 saw another offshoot of Covid (especially for our northern neighbors) resulting in significantly reduced passenger car traffic, which explains the significant increase in passenger cars in January 2023 compared to 2022.
  • The month of February 2022 was characterized by a catch-up in terms of supply / distribution, which may explain the decrease in freight traffic by - 5% in 2023 compared to 2022.    
  • In the months of February and March 2023, works took place in the Tijsmans Tunnel. During the weekends and on weekdays at night, the tunnel was closed in the direction of Ghent with a detour of ± 25 km.  This led to a number of road users choosing a route other than the R2. Estimated: 20,000 passenger car and 6,000 truck crossings per month. 
  • Finally, in March 2023, more than 1 million crossings were registered. A record!

The Liefkenshoek Tunnel was only made toll-free in Q1 for 4 hours, but additionally for a total of 64 hours to perform repairs on the bridge joint of the Merksem viaduct. During the aforementioned periods, a total of 111,244 vehicles used the tunnel.

Q2: + 5,9 %

Positive figures were again recorded in Q2. Where in Q1 truck traffic still fell slightly compared to the same period the previous year, in Q2 freight traffic increased by + 3.3 %. Passenger car traffic increased by + 7.7%, which brings the total increase to + 5.9% for the second quarter, with the strongest growth in June.

The Liefkenshoek Tunnel was only made toll-free twice in Q2 (on Friday 21 April due to a turned over ADR truck in Haasdonk and on Thursday 27 April for an accident near Antwerp East resulting in 3 lanes being blocked) which is exceptionally small and yet indicates a limited number of accidents on the R1 that had a major impact on traffic.

The number of traffic jams in the tunnel in the past 3 months was 317 hours, with daily structural traffic jams in the direction of the Netherlands between an average of 15:00 and 18:00. 

Q3: - 4,7 %

While the first half of 2023 was characterized by positive figures:

  • passenger cars + 7.8 %
  • trucks + 1.4 %
  • total traffic + 5.2 %

 there was a decrease in traffic in Q3 compared to the same period last year:

  • passenger cars - 2.7 %
  • trucks - 7.6 %

The decrease in the number of trucks in August (- 9%) and September (- 11%) was particularly striking. Night traffic for trucks showed the same trend. The works in the Tijsmans Tunnel, resulting in it being closed very frequently at night in both directions, will certainly have had an influence on this, but cannot be the complete cause of the decrease.

The decline in passenger car traffic in the summer months is certainly partly related to the bad weather in July and August. 

In the months of July and August, works were carried out just before the Liefkenshoek Tunnel in the direction of Ghent. Because 1 lane was closed for 1 week each, these works also had a negative impact on traffic figures.

The traffic figures for the Kennedy Tunnel also decreased less markedly compared to last year than those for the LHT. This may partly be due to a number of drivers choosing the Kennedy Tunnel as an alternative route during the 2 weeks of road works at LHT. 

In Q3, the Traffic Center established the shadow toll regime for 8 hours. During the aforementioned periods, 14,088 vehicles used the tunnel.