Big rise in commuters using pedal power to beat traffic
Published 29/03/2010 | 05:00
IT'S official -- cycling is back in vogue.
The number of people hopping on their bikes to avoid traffic gridlock has soared to its highest level in the past 10 years, according to new figures.
Yet, despite the downturn and the apparent increase in people trading in four wheels for two, there has also been a rise in the amount of cars travelling into the capital city in recent years.
It seems that dramatic improvements in public transport, including an expanded bus fleet and frequent Luas trips, have failed to lure many motorists from their vehicles.
Dublin City Council figures show close to 64,300 cars -- including 5,000 taxis -- were detected driving into the capital during morning rush hour.
Since 2000, the number of car journeys has slumped by 12pc. But there has been a recent resurgence, with car trips increasing by 3pc since 2004.
A decade ago, more than 73,000 people were detected driving into the city during the morning rush hour, according to the Canal Cordon count, which calculates traffic movement within the cordon formed by the Royal and Grand canals.
This had dropped in recent years as many people swapped to public transport. In 2004, just over 62,000 cars were counted crossing the canal cordon.
There has been a slight rise since 2004, with more than 64,000 cars spotted in last November's rush-hour count.
The number of people travelling on foot has slumped by 18pc over the past year from more than 18,000 to just over 15,000 pedestrians.
Last year, as people took advantage of the new Dublin bike sharing scheme and the Cycle to Work tax incentive scheme, the number of cyclists soared by 12pc to more than 6,850. An increase of 74pc has been recorded over the past five years.
The number of people signed up for the Dublin bike scheme has risen from 2,000 in September to more than 25,000.
It is estimated more than 410,000 journeys have been made. The average journey amounts to a 16-minute trip.
The number of heavy goods vehicles has plummeted since the introduction of the city centre ban, with the economic downturn possibly also a factor in the drop to 1,114 a day.
There has been a 64pc decline in the number of trucks in the city over the past decade.
The volume of buses crossing into the area has also dropped slightly from 1,814 in November 2008 to 1,735 in the same month last year.
Similarly, the number of motorcycle journeys dropped 7pc over the year.