Bus and rail journeys down 57% on pre-pandemic levels, CSO says

Data shows volume of cars on roads nearly returning to levels seen before outbreak

CSO statistician Olive Loughnane said the pandemic has had a significant influence on traffic volumes and  the number of journeys on public transport. File Photograph Nick Bradshaw

CSO statistician Olive Loughnane said the pandemic has had a significant influence on traffic volumes and the number of journeys on public transport. File Photograph Nick Bradshaw

 

Journeys by rail and bus are 57 per cent lower than pre Covid-19 levels, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

However, the volume of cars on roads is close to returning to pre-pandemic levels.

The volume of cars for the week ending August 8th were just 12.6 per cent lower than 2019 levels at regional levels and 16.3 per cent lower in Dublin.

The volume of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) measured at selected sites in Dublin since June 21st, 2020 exceeds that measured for the same period last year.

The CSO said the pace of recovery of road traffic volumes for cars and HGVs to pre Covid-19 levels continues to outstrip that of public transport passenger numbers. It added that the impact of restrictions on rail journeys was more significant than that on journeys by bus or Luas.

Meanwhile, the number of new private cars licensed in the first seven months of 2020 fell by more than 31,000 compared to the same period in 2019.

CSO statistician Olive Loughnane said the pandemic has had a “significant influence” on traffic volumes, the number of journeys on public transport and travel through Irish airports.

“The number of passenger journeys on public transport has dropped dramatically since the start of the Covid-19 crisis with journeys by rail most severely hit,” she said.

“Public transport volumes are recovering at a much slower rate than road traffic. Data from Irish airports shows that air transport continues to be heavily impacted by restrictions.”