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Latest Dublin Traffic Counts Mask Real Traffic Problems

This week Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority published the latest Canal Cordon survey. This is a traffic count of how many people travel into the City on a given weekday and which form of transport they are using. The Canal Counts are one of the few pieces of reliable traffic data on how people make their journeys in Dublin in the morning rush hour. This year’s findings highlight:

  • Cars remain the most popular mode to work but this is declining each year
  • Buses are the next most common way people get into town, followed by rail and walking.
  • The number of people walking and cycling continues to increase year on year – the number of people cycling has doubled since 2006.
  • There has been an increase in the percentage of people using public transport for the fourth year in a row.

Independent T.D. Róisín Shortall said, “The increased use of public transport and walking and cycling is welcome. However, it masks a real problem with journey times in Dublin. The travelling public are switching to public transport not because of the quality or frequency of services on offer but because of the ever-increasing restrictions on car use in the City Centre. In particular, the restrictions arising from the construction of the cross city Luas line have been disastrous for motorists. And some of these restrictions look set to remain in place long after the new LUAS starts carrying passengers.

People living within walking distance of a Luas, Dart and some Quality Bus Corridors are generally well served by public transport but people who don’t live so close to such services are very poorly served. Places like Beaumont and parts of Glasnevin North/Finglas East do not currently have a quality public transport system, and many commuters living in these areas simply don’t have a choice but to take the car to work. The typical door-to-door peak-time speeds from these areas are less than 10 km per hour – that is just too slow.

The Minister for Transport is due to make some far-reaching decisions later this year on which transport projects in North Dublin will receive Government investment in the coming years. It can’t come a moment too soon.


Image Credit: Daniel-Dudek-Corrigan (flickr)