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Are these the countries with best and worst roads in Europe?

Even as a country that boasts some of the best cycling infrastructure in the world, one European country stands out around the world too for having some of the best roads for vehicles as well.

The Netherlands took the highest European position in the Global Competitiveness Report 2019 published by the World Economic Forum, the last substantive study made on road quality before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Some 12,987 business executives from 139 economies around the world were surveyed about the quality, extensiveness and condition of the roads in their countries.

Respondents had to position the road infrastructure of their countries on a scale from one to seven, with one being extremely poor and amongst the worst in the world, and seven being extremely good and among the very best.

In Europe, the survey revealed western Europeans have – or perceive to have – better road infrastructure in the continent. Eastern Europeans, on the other hand, have an overall grim picture of road quality in their countries.

The Netherlands takes the top spot for road quality in Europe – only outperformed by Singapore globally – followed by Switzerland (which is also 3rd worldwide), Austria, Portugal, Spain and Croatia.

Globally, the fourth and fifth place for the better quality of road infrastructure went to Hong Kong and Japan.

The bottom five on the list in Europe sees Malta, 106th on the global list out of 141 countries, Ukraine at 114th, Romania at 119th, Bosnia and Herzegovina at 121th worldwide with the bottom spot occupied by Moldova at 127th.

The world’s worst roads, according to the business executives surveyed by the World Economic Forum, are across Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East, were in Chad, followed by Mauritania, Madagascar, Yemen, Haiti, and DR Congo.

Road quality in Europe

The following graphic has divided countries into groups; light green colour means better road infrastructure, and bold red means the worst. Click on the group you’re interested in the legend of the graphic to see the countries that take part in it highlighted on the map.

A few surprises might come across from a quick glance at the map. Belgium, lags behind most of its neighbours in western Europe. So do Italy, Ireland and Iceland.

On the eastern side of the Europe, Greece stands out with a score of 4.6, far from the top spot but stronger than its neighbours Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Albania.


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