Myths: Speed

Many people view cycling as a very slow form of transport, but in Dublin it’s a myth that cycling is very slow compared to driving or getting the bus.

Cycling compares well to other options. For short to medium trips cycling is often faster, but even for some longer trips, cycling isn’t as slow as you might think. According to the Department of Transport:

  • Data from the 2006 Census reveals that, for journeys within the Dublin Canal Ring, cyclists reached an average speed of 12 km/h compared to just 15km/h for cars.
  • For trips within the M50, the 2006 Census reveals average speed for cyclists of 14km/h compared to 18km/h for cars.

In 2009 average bus speed across the city were recorded to be at 16.61km/h. But with buses, trams, and trains you also need to add in the time it takes to:

  • get from your home to the station/stop
  • get from the station/stop to your destination
  • wait for the next buses/trams/trains


  1. Must agree that the convenience equation needs to be added when considering speed to travel in Dublin. My experience is that It was just about possible to leave Firhouse at 08:30 and arrive, lock up and get into the office in Dame Street to switch on the computer by 09:00 – provided there were mainly green lights on the way down. Clearly going home was slower as it’s a gradual incline. the half hour time doesn’t include going to the bathroom once you arrive to change clothes tho – it’s not possible to do that and not be slightly warm.


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