160% increase in cycling into Dublin City Centre between 2004-2014

— 14.2% year-on-year increase between 2013 and 2014

Cycling as a means of entering Dublin City Centre at rush hour is continuing to grow, data from the latest ‘Canal Cordon’ traffic counts show.

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The figures were released to Dublin City Council’s newly formed Cycling and Walking Committee, which is a sub-group of the council’s transport committee. The sub-group, which takes in an expanded focus of the previous cycling-only subcommittee, is due to meet today and around three more times each year.

A limited extract from the Canal Cordon counts said: “Over the 10 years from 2004 to 2014 the number of cyclists crossing the canal cordon during the morning peak increased by 162.6 %. There was a 63.6 % increase over the 5 years from 2009 to 3014 and a 14.2% increase from 2013 to 2014.”

The count happens in November each year, on week days between 7am to 10am. All modes of inbound traffic, including walking and cycling, are counted at at 33 locations around the cordon formed by the Royal and Grand Canals.

Meanwhile, as we reported in December, traffic counts inside the canals show a higher level of growth of 22.5% between 2013 and 2014. This is likely largely down to the expansion of the DublinBikes bike share system.

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canal count cycling 2004 to 2014

The subcommittee was also given data on walking, which has fluctuated more in the last ten years but is rising again. The report said: “Over the 10 year period 2004 to 2014 the volume of pedestrians crossing the cordon during the morning peak period increased by 29.3%. There was an increase of 34.8% in the period 2009 to 2014 and a 12.7% increase in the period 2013 to 2014.”

The full Canal Cordon Counts and Trends 2014 report should be released soon.


  1. Good to see such figures. These are only the morning commute quantified. There is also much bicycle use within the canals and surrounding areas during off peak times. Much of this within city centre would be Dublinbikes but not all.

    Many of this off peak use tends to be shortish local journies, which may have previously been done on foot, bus or even car. Within residential areas, transport of children by bike seems to increased recently as well, if my own street is anything to go by. Frequently see parents with a child on board, sometimes even with older ones on their own bikes. Also noticeable is seeing more bicycles locked up outside houses, indicating frequent use. People seem to be making choices in spite of poor facilities and driver behaviour.

    Build it and they will come is surely the way forward. Together with slower speed limits for urban/residential areas and better enforcement. Dublin could be such a more liveable healthy city for its people.

  2. “People seem to be making choices in spite of poor facilities and driver behaviour.”

    When government officials and law enforcement put as much effort into protecting cyclists safety and rights to the road, the rebound effect is “People feel safe to cycle”.


    #AutosAreGuests is a motto that keeps people cycling.

    I am impressed and inspired by the work done by cycling advocates in Ireland. Keep up the great job.


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