Record number of cyclists commute into Dublin

Almost 11,000 people cycle into the city each day, according Dublin City Council and NTA

The number of commuters cycling into Dublin city during the morning peak has reached its highest level since records began nearly 20 years ago.

Almost 11,000 people cycle into the city each day.

Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority's (NTA) annual traffic count, which measures the modes of transport used by people entering the city between 7am and 10am, shows a huge increase in the popularity of cycling since the council starting keeping records in 1997.

Cyclist numbers in 1997 were 5,628 and by 2006 had fallen to 4,839, but have increased steadily, reaching 10,893 in 2015 – an increase of 5 per cent on 2014 and a massive 125 per cent in the past decade.



The count, which is taken each November, measures the modes of transport on 33 routes which can be used to access Dublin city through a cordon roughly defined by the Royal and Grand canals during the busiest commuting hours. Information is also provided by bus operators, Irish Rail, and, in relation to the Luas, by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, to give a full picture of everyone accessing the city in the morning.

The 2015 count shows the highest proportion ever recorded of people using sustainable transport modes – walking, cycling and public transport – to access the city. Since 2010 there there has been a trend of increasing use of sustainable transport with a consistent level of increase each year.

In 2015, the overall mode share was 66 per cent, its highest level since the canal cordon counts began. Goods vehicles and journeys by car and motorbike accounted for only one third of the trips crossing the canal cordon.

While the proportion of trips made by car fell, the number of people using cars to come into town increased by almost 2 per cent 2015, from 64,169 to 65,269, though the number of cars rose by just a tiny amount, 53,033 to 53,064.

Overall, car usage has declined by 15 per cent since 2006. In 2015 more than 11,500 fewer people entered the city in cars during the morning peak than on count day 2006, when 76,850 people used cars.

Public transport

Almost 100,000 people took public transport into the city during the morning peak with most, 57,548 taking buses, 29,521 using rail and 12,503 using Luas.

Separately, almost 1,000 Dublin cyclists have signed up to the European Cycling Challenge, designed to encourage people to use bicycles as their principal method of transport during May.

Cyclists record their journeys using a free smart phone app Cycling365, and can participate any time before the end of the month. The data will be used to form a “Heat Map” of cycling trips, allowing the NTA and local authorities to determine where the larger concentration of cycle journeys in Dublin occur.

The challenge is being promoted by the Dublin Cycling Campaign, the NTA and Dublin local authorities. See

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times