Over 12,000 commuters on bicycles cross into Dublin City Centre in the morning rush hour

— Car and bus use down as walking, rail and cycling numbers up.
Dublin’s Canal Corden traffic count is showing a year-on-year increase of 11% in the number of commuters on bicycles crossing the canals at the morning rush hour between 2015 and 2016.

The actual numbers have increased from 10,893 to 12,089. The count does not include the large numbers of people who start their cycling commutes within the canals — not conunted is the vast bulk of DublinBikes users, a number of areas with high bicycle use, and people leaving railway stations on bicycles.

The canal counts are also only taken in November — a month which year-round traffic counters show fewer people cycling than most months of the year. 

The numbers of people cycling has increased in all but one year since 2004. 

The overall numbers of commuters crossing the canals are up from 199,943 to 202,001, and people are also switching from cars and overcrowded buses to walking, cycling, Luas and heavy rail.

A National Transport Authority spokeswoman told the Irish Independent that the number of bus passengers has decreased while the numbers of people walking and cycling has increased and the authority thinks people closer to the city centre are transferring from bus to walking and cycling.

The canal traffic surveys are conducted at canal crossing into the city centre as well as junctions of the North Circular Road and South Circular Road — a ring around the city centre call which gets the name ‘canal cordon’.

The full canal cordon count report can be viewed here.


  1. Thanks for the link to the report. Interesting read. As mentioned in your article only people inbound are counted. I commute 35km on the bike every day and I’m not included :(

    Also why are the counts only in November? C’mon DCC – at least have another one at the start of the summer to see what percentage fall-off there might be for weather factors. This is important information needed for strategic planning by authorities. Although…. there’s little evidence that cycling (all it’s benefits: health, mental well-being, environment, congestion, air pollution, noise, stress etc etc) is taken as seriously as it should be by those in power in regards making our cities better places to live. :(

  2. Also, for the love of Odin, can we please ban taxis fro using bus-lanes. They’re nothing but private cars for hire and do zip for reducing air-pollution or congestion. All they might possibly do is free up car-parking spaces in the center of the city. otherwise they’re just cars.

    And most of the ones I see in bus-lanes don’t have passengers anyway. Why is this allowed?

    Why aren’t other commercial vehicles such as plumbers or painters who might need to get into the city also allowed to use bus-lanes? Why just taxis?

    Ban taxis from bus-lanes. Let them use the regular lanes like everyone else.

  3. Thanks Colm. Well, it’s a time of year that most people may not be on holidays but I suspect it doesn’t capture peak usage of bikes. I’d say peak usage of bikes (as a percentage of those travelling) is over the summer.

    Btw, I note that the report laughably refers to taxis as part of sustainable transport…… Who decided taxis are part of sustainable transport? Is this one of those alternative facts I haven’t heard about before?

  4. I too was aghast at NTA claim that taxis are part of sustainable transport! They are most certainly not sustainable transport. Most are single occupancy trips. They are saloon cars mostly and churn out pollution like the rest. They are congestion in bus lanes now that some 13k ply across the city. Many are cruising the bus lanes desperately seeking a fare. The fuel wastage must be enormous.
    But more importantly for cyclists’ safety they don’t have to stop at bus stops to pick up fares so free-speeds can be excessive. Cyclists sharing the bus lanes was predicated originally on the crucial fact that bus drivers are trained and buses have to stop frequently to pick up passengers so free-speeds kept in check.
    It seems the NTA has forgotten this parameter.

  5. IMO taxis do form a part of the sustainable transport ‘mix’.
    I suspect that the numbers of people using taxis to commute every day is minuscule; although I don’t have figures to support this (so open to contradiction). Obviously on their own taxis are not sustainable, but the facilitation of taxis (for example, allowing them to use bus lanes) enables a wider range of people to adopt a ‘private car free’ lifestyle. Personally, I take PT or cycle every single working day, apart from about a dozen days a year when I need to bring large boxes/case files out to clients. Using taxis in this way supports my usage of PT/cycling for the vast bulk of the year.
    In addition, I have colleagues with young children who occasionally need to rush across town to attend to something. The fact that taxis do not get stuck in general grid-lock (mostly) also enables them to chose PT as their normal method of commuting.
    None of which is to say that aggressive taxi drivers in bus lanes aren’t a problem (they are, especially to cyclists), it’s just to point out that there are other perspectives to consider. Ideally, cyclists shouldn’t need to use bus lanes at all. Bus lanes are entirely sub-optimal for cycling as they to not encourage nervous cyclists to take to the city’s streets.

  6. I find that on bicycle lanes the vehicles which come very close, scarily so, are most often taxis. The quays are also a danger spot, perhaps because taxis are rushing to the station? I think taxi drivers might benefit, and cyclists certainly would, if they spent a few days per year on a bicycle as a condition of their license.


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