More opting to walk or cycle over public transport

Almost three-quarters of all journeys taken were by car as the use of public transport declines, study finds.

Irish people are choosing to walk or cycle as a preference to using the public transport network.

Travel by car, remains, the “king” for most people, according to travel trends released by the Department of Transport.

Almost three-quarters of all journeys taken in the country last year were by car.

However, the use of public transport is declining, accounting for just 5.5% of total journeys last year.

Travel by bus stood at 4.2% of total journeys in 2016, down from 4.4% in 2014.

The Irish Rail/Dart/Luas systems’ share remains stable at 1.3%.

However, the figures point to more people opting to walk or cycle rather than avail of public transport.

After car use, walking remains the second most popular mode of travel at 14.6% of all journeys. Cycling has increased from 1.2% in 2012 to 1.7% in 2016.

Overall, public transport services have grown each year since 2013.

Passenger journeys on the four main operators combined have increased from 259.3m in 2013 to 275.2m in 2015, an annual growth of 2.8% between 2014 and 2015.

This total had previously fallen from 309.5m in 2008 to 258.4m in 2012.

The CSO figures, however, include school transport passengers on Bus Éireann

Traffic is also becoming an increasing problem, particularly in Dublin.

The data shows that although the average distance travelled in the capital on a journey is well below all other regions at 9.8km and has decreased since 2014, the length of time it takes to cover this distances is almost 25 minutes and is on the rise.

Meanwhile, data shows the road network consists of approximately 98,898km.

A total of 916km, or 17.3% of all national roads, are motorway representing an increase of just 19km from 2013, with approximately 4km of dual carriageway and 14km of national single carriageway having been upgraded to motorway.

Recent years have seen some progress with an increase in cycling numbers for those commuting to work and college, and in general for trips in Dublin. Dublin’s public bike scheme has attracted notably more use than the schemes in Ireland’s regional cities.

Dublin had by far the highest number of journeys per shared bike in 2015 at 2,715.3. Cork had the second highest at 904.5, while Limerick had 186.6 and Galway had 97.2.

Dublin also had the most valid annual subscribers per shared bike in 2015 at 38.5, with Cork second at 23.5, Limerick third at 11.4, and Galway fourth at 9.7 annual subscribers per bike.

Transport minister Shane Ross welcomed the report and said it was “vital that we ensure our transport system continues to be able to support our economy”.

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