Over 40% decrease in cars on Dublin’s most central quays since 2017

— Fewer cars per hour on Bachelor’s Walk than a single tram or under four buses.

There has been a 53% decrease in the number of cars on average on Dublin’s Bachelor’s Walk since 2017 when bus and tram or priority measures were put in place.

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The decrease was lower but still significant on the south quays where there was a 34% reduction on Burgh Quay, according to Dublin City Council data.

The combined decrease is from an average of 14,134 cars per day from 7am to 7pm in both directions to around 8,053 on average, or a 43% decrease.

Traffic count data shows that there are only 270 cars on Bachelor’s Walk per hour at rush hour — the number of people per car in the city centre is low, so it’s likely that a single fully-loaded Luas Red Line tram, which carries 291 passengers, would likely carry more people. And that goes even more so for a Green Line tram, which carries up to 319 passengers and is often affected by traffic on the quays.

The peak car-carrying capacity is also likely overshadowed by just four of the latest buses to enter service. Some slightly older buses carry even more people.

A section of the draft Dublin City Centre Transport Plan outlines how: ‘Ongoing traffic surveys are regularly undertaken by Dublin City Council, and the most recent counts undertaken for traffic passing O’Connell Bridge, highlight the significant reduction in general traffic using the city Quays as route through the city. Since 2017 there has been a 53% reduction in traffic on the north quays and a 34% reduction in traffic on the south quays.”

“On average, only 270 cars use the Bachelor’s Walk approach to O’Connell Bridge per hour during the AM Peak period. The figures for the whole day for 2017 and 2023 are set out in Figure 4.4,” the report said.

Public consultation on the report was launched on Wednesday, including installing bus gates on the quays at O’Connell Bridge which would only allow bicycles, buses and taxis to pass those points and only local access for private vehicles.

The National Transport Authority confirmed at the Dublin City Transport Committee meeting on Wednesday last that public transport use has now rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.

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