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All roads lead to Rome - and so does all traffic

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A City Police officer stands among cars as he directs traffic in downtown Rome, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015.
A City Police officer stands among cars as he directs traffic in downtown Rome, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015.   -   Copyright  Associated Press
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All roads lead to Rome says the old adage. So too it seems, does all the traffic. It's one of the world's most congested cities, with drivers being stuck in traffic for an average of around 254 hours every year - or more than 10 whole days.

That finding comes from the INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard, an analysis of congestion and mobility trends in more than 200 cities across 38 countries.

Rome is only the second worst performer in the world, beaten by the traffic-crazy streets of the Colombian capital Bogota.

The Eternal City was founded thousands of years before the invention of cars, creating secondary issues such as pollution that only add to the city's woes.

Other European cities weighed down by congestion include Dublin, London and Paris. Drivers there are stuck in heavy queues and lose hours of productivity every year. And the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don also buckles under the strain.

For cities like Paris, the desire to live and work in close proximity to the city centre aggravates the problem. And many roads were simply not designed to handle the volume of traffic in 21st century society. London's shopping districts also attract vast numbers of tourists and taxis.

And the problem is getting worse in cities like Moscow, where city planning is already struggling to keep up with increasing car ownership.