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€25bn Dublin Transport Strategy to see just 15.5% drop in car use by 2042

Under a draft version of a €25 billion plan to invest in transport the Greater Dublin Area it will take until 2042 to push the percentage of car use — known as the modal share — down just 15.5%.

The Draft Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2022–2042 is out to public consultation until Friday, December 17, 2021. It covers the Greater Dublin Area which includes all of County Dublin as well as counties Wicklow, Kildare and Meath.

In the document, the National Transport Authority outlines how the modal share for car use in the GDA is forecasted to be at 49% in 2042, down from 58% in 2016.

This represents a 15.5% decrease. The data covers “all trip purposes throughout the day” as opposed to just commuter trips and it includes the whole area covered by the plan.

The Dublin Commuter Coalition said: “26 years and we’ll only have a 4 percentage point increase in public transport and an 8 percentage point increase in cycling to show for it. How can we be this unambitious?”

The plan outlines a 12% modal share for cycling by 2042, up from 4% in 2016.

IMAGE: Graphic from the Draft Transport Strategy.

On climate change, the Draft Transport Strategy states: “For transport, there are three main actions, required, namely: Reducing the demand for travel; Increasing use of public transport, walking and cycling and a reduction in trips by car; and Conversion of the transport fleet to zero emissions vehicles.”

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“Finally, notwithstanding the fact that the conversion of the national transport fleet to low and zero-emissions vehicles is primarily a matter for national-level policy and investment… The NTA is committed to this provision on a national basis. In relation to the private car fleet, the Transport Strategy supports the local authorities in facilitating the roll-out of electric cars through the provision of public charging points where demand requires them,” it said.

It adds: “However, simply transitioning the car fleet to electric vehicles is insufficient to deliver a sustainable transport system and a key focus of the strategy is to facilitate increased use of other modes in order to meet environmental, economic and social objectives related to emissions, congestion and car dependency. As such, a number of additional measures have been considered in this strategy which will enable these statutory targets to be met.”

Despite the need for decarbonisation of transport quickly, the 15.5% decrease of car use across 26 years is classed by the Draft Transport Strategy as a “significant reduction in car mode share”.

The Strategy and supporting documents can be viewed at

In what the NTA calls ‘Metropolitan Dublin’, the share of car use is forecasted to fall from 52.4% to 41.9% — a decrease of 20% — this includes public transport forecasted to increase from 17.0% to 19.7%, walking to decrease from 26.3% to 24.3% and cycling to increase from 4.3% to 14.1%.

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