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Drivers spend up to seven hours a week just getting to work

IRISH people spend nearly seven hours a week commuting -- mostly in our cars.

Public transport is only easily accessed by half the population, with most of us highly dependant on cars, new Central Statistics Office figures show.

Irish commuters spend an average of six and three quarter hours on journeys each week, covering 221km.

They also take 2.4 journeys on average each day, with the average journey of 13km taking 24 minutes to complete.

While those living in the country make fewer journeys, they travel further than their city cousins, the figures show.

And although the average journey made by those in rural areas is 80pc longer than journeys taken by those living cities and towns, both groups still spend a similar amount of time commuting, irrespective of the distance.

The figures show:

•Work-related journeys account for 25pc of all travel, followed closely by shopping and eating or drinking out at 23pc,

•Visiting family and friends and other forms of social entertainment accounted for 17pc of the total journeys taken.

•Almost three-quarters of all journeys are made by private car.

•Walking is the second most popular mode of travel, with 16pc of all journeys made on foot.

•Just 1pc of commuters regularly travel by bicycle.

•The average journey on foot is 2km and takes 17 minutes to complete, while the average bike journey is 5km, lasting 25 minutes,

•Only 4pc of all journeys are made by bus and just 1pc of commuters use either rail, Dart or Luas.

•6pc of urban residents are regular users of buses, compared to just 1pc of rural dwellers.

•Seven out of 10 journeys take less than 30 minutes with just 8pc lasting over an hour, while 41pc of journeys are less than 4km.

The CSO research on the commuting habits of more than 7,220 people is one of the most comprehensive studies of travel patterns ever conducted in the Republic.



Tempt

The report also showed that 95pc of urban households said they had access to local public transport services compared to just 51pc of rural commuters.

It came as new EU figures showed that car prices dropped 8pc in Ireland last year as manufacturers tried to tempt consumers to stop saving and spend on new vehicles.

The drop was the seventh largest in the EU and compared well to an increase of more than 11pc in the UK.

mlavery@herald.ie


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