Traffic on main roads still below 2019 levels, figures show

Transport Infrastructure Ireland says traffic at Rosslare and Cork ports way ahead of comparisons with 2019

The number of cars and lorries on the State’s national road network is still below 2019 levels on average, but the number of heavy goods vehicles through Cork and Rosslare ports are booming.

Average daily traffic volumes on the national roads amounted to 22,505 vehicles last week. The figure includes cars and lorries and is 6 per cent below the comparable week in 2019, before the first of the Covid-19 lockdowns.

The figures were published by national roads operator Transport Infrastructure Ireland this week. They relate to averages across all motorways, and national primary and national secondary roads — the State’s main roads.

Separating cars and lorries, the figures show car numbers on national roads last week were 17,902, some 8 per cent less than the similar period in 2019.


The figures for heavy goods vehicles were also down, coming in at an average of 1,431 or 3 per cent less than the similar period in 2019.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland noted that in 2019 “several” of its traffic counters which are embedded in national roads were not working between June and August 2019, and therefore the gap between the number of vehicles in 2019 and 2022 is likely to be even wider.

However, the national roads operator indicated that traffic at the ports of Rosslare and Cork is way ahead of comparisons with 2019, particularly in Co Cork.

At Cork some 772 lorries used the port on average each day, a significant rise of 98 per cent on the comparable week in 2019. The share of inbound and outbound lorry traffic was 49 per cent inbound and 51 per cent outbound.

Some 497 lorries used Rosslare port last week, 23 per cent ahead of the similar week in 2019. The shares between inbound and outbound lorries were 47 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.

Counters at Dublin Port recorded a comparatively large 6,425 lorries per day on average last week, making Dublin still by far the busiest port for heavy goods vehicles. The figure was, however, a half of 1 per cent below the average daily traffic during the similar week in 2019. The balance between inbound and outbound traffic at Dublin Port was “nearly equal”, according to Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

Overall, there was a 4 per cent increase in lorry traffic at the ports last week compared with the previous week.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist