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Census shows segregated cycle path helps drive switch to cycling in areas around route 

Central Statistics Office officials have said that they believe the Canals Cycle Route, which runs mostly along Dublin’s Grand Canal, has helped boosted the number of people cycling around the route.

The news is the latest evidence that giving space to cycling increases the numbers of people cycling comes. It comes with the release of small area data from the 2016 Census, and wider reporting of the Census results by the Irish Independent newspaper.

The Irish Independent reports: “This particular in-depth local data also showed a sharp rise in cyclists in Dublin city centre. The statistics revealed the number of cyclists making their way to work rose by some 43pc between 2011 and 2016.”

The newspaper added: “The largest increase came around the Harold’s Cross and Kimmage areas of Dublin. CSO officials believe this is particularly down to a cycle route that was opened along the Grand Canal in Dublin.”

ALSO READ: 10% of Dublin City residents who commute now choosing their bicycles.

The data is significant as it shows modal shift towards cycling at an area level, backing up data from local traffic counters.

Last year we also reported how adding space for cycling to the Blackrock bypass in south county Dublin has increased the number of people using the route by nearly 50%.

At the time, a spokeswoman for Dun Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council said: “The council is delighted to announce that the electronic cycle counter on the Rock Road approaching Booterstown Avenue has shown that cycling numbers have increased by 49% in the first 6 months of 2016 when compared to 2014. During the same 6 month period, cycle counters also showed a 6% increase in cycling numbers on Clonskeagh Road and a 9% increase on the Stillorgan Road.”
A mix of new cycle lanes and lightly segregated cycle tracks along the Blackrock bypass (pictured below) has increased the number of people using the road by 75%, comparing data with 2014 before the improvement works and data from after the project was finished. But the council also measured a decrease in the number of people cycling on a very close by parallel route via Blackrock Park. When the decrease of 9% is accounted for the overall increase is 49%. 

The Blackrock improvements had an impact even-though only to a relatively short section of the overall road into the city centre were upgraded. Sections in the city council area remains hostile to cycling, although this is planned to be addressed as part of a larger transport project.

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Cian Ginty

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