CSO figures show significant increase in road traffic volumes during March

Rail and bus continue to be the most impacted by the pandemic
CSO figures show significant increase in road traffic volumes during March

The CSO’s March Transport Bulletin shows that the volume of cars on Irish roads during the week beginning March 28 was 120.5% higher in regional locations than in the same period in 2020. File Picture: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Road traffic volumes around the country increased significantly last month, according to new figures.

The CSO’s March Transport Bulletin shows that the volume of cars on Irish roads during the week beginning March 28 was 120.5% higher in regional locations than in the same period in 2020.

In Dublin, traffic was 127.9% higher than the same week in 2020.

However, both totals are still considerably lower than amounts recorded during the same week in 2019 — 44% and 43.9% respectively.

The CSO report shows that, despite level 5 travel restrictions being in place up to yesterday, the number of cars on Irish roads has been rising steadily since January.

There’s also been a marked increase in the number of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) on Irish roads.

The volume of HGVs recorded during the week commencing March 28 was 48.2% higher in Dublin and 37.2% higher in regional locations compared to the same week last year.

Despite these increased traffic volumes, road fatalities have, thankfully, not risen.

In the first quarter of this year, there were 21 fatalities recorded on Irish roads, compared with 46 in the same period in 2020 — a drop of 54.3%.

The CSO's report also illustrates the impact of travel restrictions on other modes of transport.

Public transport

Rail and bus continue to be the modes of transport most impacted by the pandemic. 

In the week commencing April 5, the number of rail journeys undertaken was 97.2% lower than it was in the first week of March of this year.

The number of bus journeys recorded outside of Dublin during the week beginning March 7 was just 31.6% of pre-Covid levels. In Dublin, that figure was 30.7%. 

While there have been marginal increases in the number of people travelling by train and bus since late February, public transport volumes are currently operating at less than a third of levels seen pre-Covid (30.2%).

The number of people opting to use their bicycle has risen, particularly in Dublin city.

The CSO report shows a 42.4% increase in the volume of cyclists in the capital during off-peak hours in March 2021 compared to March 2020. 

However, the number of cyclists on Dublin streets during peak hours dropped substantially when Covid-19 restrictions were at their most stringent. 

Air travel

Unsurprisingly, air travel levels are now only at a fraction of what they were pre-pandemic.

Some 95.8% fewer passengers travelled through Dublin, Cork, Shannon, and Knock airports in February of this year compared to February 2020. 

The total number of passengers handled by those airports fell from 4,688,632 in the first two months of 2020 to just 303,524 this year  — a drop of 93.5%.

The number of people arriving and departing through Dublin airport this  February decreased by more than half (-51.9%) when compared to January. 

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence