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Cycling in Dublin is 50% shared bus lanes vs 80% segregated cycle tracks in Copenhagen

— Nearly 50% of routes in Dublin shared with bus lanes vs 0% in Copenhagen.
— Lack of cycling segregation linked with lower population health benefits.

Only around 16% of main commuter routes in Dublin have segregated cycle tracks compared to 77% in Copenhagen, research published in the Irish Medical Journal has found.

IMAGE: Dublin vs Copenhagen graphed.

The public health researchers mapped the cycling infrastructure along 8 sample of commuter routes into both Dublin and Copenhagen. The team of researchers are based at the HSE Department of Public Health East, St Vincent’s University Hospital, the Royal College of Physicians, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

The team said much that the population health benefit from cycling has been lost in Ireland because of a fall in commuting by bicycle from 7.3% in 1986 to 2.7% in 2016.

Of make up of the sample routes studied, segregated tracks amount to 16.1% in Dublin vs 77.2% in Copenhagen, painted cycle lanes were 26.7% in Dublin and just 11.6% in Copenhagen, and shared bus lanes were 48.7% in Dublin vs 0% in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen has slightly more sections with “no marking for either bus or cycle lane and were by definition shared use” with 11.1% vs 8.5% in Dublin.

The research team said the Government’s BusConnects plan for the capital is only just at “public consultation stage and in order to achieve the number of cyclists targeted in national policy documents — and to unlock the public-health benefit that that would bring — the cycling infrastructure component of the BusConnects plan will need to be recognised as a priority for implementation.”

READ MORE: The Current State of Cycling Infrastructure in Dublin and Copenhagen is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

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Cian Ginty


  1. Add in the fact that nearly all of this “infrastructure” is time-plated and you realise that central Dublin really has almost zero dedicated space for cycling on evenings and at weekends.

  2. As S. Boles states it’s the miserly (and quite variable) time-plating of the operational hours of much of this so-called cycling ‘infrastructure’ (mostly bus-lanes) that shows it to be next to useless to encourage more commuters to leave their cars at home and get children back to cycling to school.
    We need Minister Richard Bruton to grasp this anomaly and recommend big changes in provision for active travel.


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