Marked increase in traffic on main roads as lockdown eases, data shows

CSO index shows Dubliners moving most in advance of rules easing

Heavy traffic on Capel Street on Monday in Dublin’s City Centre.Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Heavy traffic on Capel Street on Monday in Dublin’s City Centre.Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

There was a marked increase in traffic volumes on the State’s main roads on Monday morning, according to data collected by counters placed in the roads by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

The increase which coincided with the reopening of schools and easing of lockdown restrictions, was notable across the entire State, but particularly in regional cities, with a 29 percent increase in traffic on N40 in Cork.

Separately the CSO’s Staying Local Indicator (SLI) report for the last week of March shows increasing numbers of people – particularly Dubliners – were already starting to travel more than 10km from home - twice the lockdown limit of 5 kilometres.

Twenty-one counties recorded decreases in the CSO Staying Local Index, indicating that more people moved beyond 10 km from home during the week ending March 31st 2021, compared to the previous seven-day period. The SLI placed the number of people staying local at 63 percent. This represented a drop of 1.6 percent in Dublin - the highest drop across the country.

According to TII, Monday morning (April 12th) saw increases in traffic on every monitored route.

Traffic on the M1 at Dublin airport reached 8,180 vehicles per hour during the morning peak on Monday , compared to just 5,559 the previous Tuesday, April 6th. Tuesday was selected due to the bank holiday on Monday 5th.

On the M50 between Finglas and Blanchardstown, traffic on Monday reached a high of 10,951 vehicles per hour during the morning peak, compared to 9,106 the previous Tuesday.

On the N3 at Blanchardstown volumes reached 5,772 per hour during the morning peak compared to 4,882 the previous Tuesday.

On the N4 at Liffey Valley traffic numbers reached 7,876 per hour during the morning peak, compared to 6,322 at the start of the previous week.

On the N7 between Kingswood and Newlands Cross traffic volumes rose to 7,567 in the peak hour, from 6, 619 the previous week.

On the N81 between Tallaght and the M50 numbers rose to an hourly high of 2,251 vehicles during the morning peak, from 1,510, the previous Tuesday.

On the M50 at Ballinteer, numbers rose to a high of 5, 968 vehicles per hour during the morning peak, compared with 4, 716 on Tuesday April 6th.

On the M11 between Bray North and Bray central, there was an hourly high of 5,313 vehicles recorded on Monday morning, compared with 4,716 the previous Tuesday.

Separately a TII analysis of traffic outside the Dublin area compared car volumes on Monday morning to those on Monday 29th March, to avoid distortion created by Easter. It found an increase of 18 percent on N6 Bóthar na dTreabh in Co Galway.

It also found an increase of 29 percent on the N40 in Cork; 20 percent; on the M9 Waterford and M7 27 percent in Limerick.