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Pre-COVID 19 Dublin traffic count showed 71% of commuters using sustainable transport

— Car use declined to just 28% of commuters entering city centre.

Bus use overtakes car use for first time: Milestone follows public transport combined overtaking cars a number of years ago.

Data from November 2019 showed a further decline in car use into Dublin City centre in the morning rush hours, with an increase in people walking, cycling and taking public transport.

The data is only a snapshot of what crosses into the city centre, it does not take into account of separate data which shows higher walking and cycling within the city centre due to a mix of city centre residents commuting within the count area, and public transport users making “last mile trips”, for example from a train station to an office.

The canal counts also do not include peak DublinBikes trips as only a few stations are outside the count area. DublinBikes record up to around 16,000 trips per day, many of which are taken at peak times. 

The Dublin City Council and National Transport Authority report on the canal count looks at the number of commuters crossing the ‘Canal cordon’ into Dublin City Centre. The cordon is make up mainly of crossings of the Royal and Grand canals, except to the west and north west of the city where it mainly follows the south and north circular roads.

The report states: “Continuing the trend of recent years, there was a decrease in the number of cars crossing the cordon from 48,820 to 46,388 between 2018 and 2019. This represents a decrease of just below 5%. In the period 2006-2019 the peak year for cars crossing the canal cordon was in 2008 with almost 59,000 vehicles. The 2019 figure represents a decrease of 21%, or 12,509 cars, since this peak.”

On cycling it states: “There has been an increase in cyclists crossing the canal between 2018 and 2019 with numbers increasing by 7%. There has been a steady year on year growth in the number of cyclists crossing the cordon since 2010 with the exception of a slight dip in 2018. In 2019 the upward trend continues with 13,131 cyclists crossed the cordon in the AM peak period. This represents a significant growth of 171% when compared with 2006.”

The full report can be read here, while key charts are as follows: 

Canal count points. is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

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Cian Ginty

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