Myths: Distances

There’s a lot of media coverage of extreme commuters, but these people make up small percentages of all commuters. The vast bulk of people in Dublin City, Co Dublin and even the Greater Dublin Area live in easy to cycle distances and most people live in and around the M50.

The average cycling speed in Dublin is around 14km/h. Some people go slower and some go much faster, but using this speed as a guide, a trip of 5km would only take around 20mins, 7km would only take 30mins, and a trip of 10km would only take a little over 40mins.

Census 2016

The CSO has Census data online including interactive graphs of average straight-line distances. While some might say the point-to-point data would be better if the CSO made route calculations, this is hard to calculate on a population level and the new data is more accurate than guess work previously done by people who filled out Census forums

Unfortunately the average is increasing nationally but is still within cycling distance within most urban areas and the suggested is never that cycling will suit everybody, but cycling can suit a lot of people, especially in cities where cycling commute times are faster per km than most public transport and many car commuters.

Greater Dublin Area 2016 data

Here’s some graphs by the National Transport Authority (NTA) from its draft strategy for the Greater Dublin Area showing the distances people travel:

Journey purpose and distance travelled
Based on a DTO (now NTA) 2006 survey:

Map showing the GDA split as described below

Distance travelled in the Greater Dublin Area by area

Based on 2006 census data. These following graphs are split into three images for easier viewing, click on each one to zoom in. (Note: We also adjusted these graphs to show the shorter distances in green and the larger distances in red — the NTA had two light blues representing one of the shortest and the longest distances, which were harder to read).

Inside the M50:

Outer suburban and hinterland towns:

Rural hinterland:

Population share by area

Percentage of trips in areas and across areas

And finally, distances people travel into Dublin City Centre, from the DublinBikes expansion report by Dublin City Council:

2 Comments

  1. Could be clearer – where do you call ‘inner suburbs’, ‘outer suburbs’, etc?

  2. There is a map with the article that explains these terms

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