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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Thousands get on their bikes in bid to beat traffic gridlock

Paul Melia Environment Correspondent

Published 12/04/2014 | 02:30

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There has been a 14 per cent increase in people cycling into Dublin city centre since 2012
There has been a 14 per cent increase in people cycling into Dublin city centre since 2012

THE number of people hopping on their bike to avoid traffic gridlock has soared in the past year.

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More than 9,000 people now enter Dublin city centre on two wheels instead of four – up 14pc – a survey has revealed.

And the annual 'Canal Cordon Count' from the National Transport Authority (NTA) also shows that more people are cycling, walking and using public transport instead of driving.

One in three journeys is made by car – a slight drop – while trips on bus, train and Luas are up 7pc.

The survey counts the number of people travelling into the city centre at 33 points during the morning peak between 7am and 10am.

Overall, the numbers travelling into the city continue to rise, up to 192,188, down from a peak of 207,379 in 2006.

The survey also reveals:

* Almost half of all trips (48pc) are made by public transport;

* Most people are carried on bus (56,177), followed by rail (24,969) and Luas (10,835);

* Some 68,072 journeys were by car, with numbers falling for the fourth year in a row;

* It is followed by pedestrians (17,495), cyclists (9,061) and taxis (3,111);

* There is an increased number of private buses operating in the city – up 9pc – while the number of goods vehicles has fallen, down almost 5pc;

* There was no change in the number of motorcyclists.

The NTA said that one in 20 commuters used a bicycle to get to work, and there was a "steady trend" of increased usage.

"The number of cyclists entering Dublin city has increased by a significant 87pc over the period 2006 to 2013," it said.

"This significant increase reflects a number of measures introduced in the past seven years to promote cycling in the city – including the Dublinbikes rental scheme, the provision of cycle lanes, public awareness campaigns to promote cycling and the introduction of the 30km city centre speed limit.

"However, the trend in Dublin is also part of a general nationwide trend of increased use of cycling in recent years – with the recent census figures showing a national increase of 10pc in people travelling to work by bicycle between 2006 and 2011."

The NTA noted that intercity, suburban and DART rail had lost a "significant" share of passengers in recent years, but there had been a slight increase since 2011. The number of motorcyclists had dropped by 40pc in the past seven years.

Irish Independent

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