No marked rise in traffic volumes despite office return

Commuters on public transport unchanged but forecast of uptick on college reopening

Transport Infrastructure Ireland said across the network there was a 2% traffic increase. File photograph: Getty

Transport Infrastructure Ireland said across the network there was a 2% traffic increase. File photograph: Getty

 

There was no significant increase in Monday traffic volumes on the roads, neither was there a marked rise in passengers aboard public transport as relaxation of coronavirus restrictions enabled workers return to offices.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland said across the network there was a 2 per cent increase, but it was “no big deal” . The authority revealed last week that volumes on the M50 – the State’s busiest motorway – were already back to at least 90 per cent of pre-Covid-19 levels.

Analysis of traffic heading to Dublin showed the largest percentage increase, when comparing Monday 20th to last Monday the 13th, was at the N13 east of Derry where a 11 per cent rise was recorded. Numbers were, however, low with a total of 1,153 cars recorded during the 7am to 10am morning period.

No ‘big bang’

Traffic on the M50 between the N3 Navan and N4 Galway roads rose just 2 per cent. The rise on the M1 at Dublin Airport was 3 per cent; on the M11 near Bray there was a 5 per cent rise, but on the N7 at Citywest there was no increase or decline over last Monday.

Barry Kenny of Irish Rail said the increase was “about 2 per cent”, adding that with relaxation of restrictions the network tended not to see a “big bang effect”. Numbers would build slowly he said, with the expectation of a significant rise when colleges reopen. He said there were no longer any capacity restrictions but passengers were required to wear a face mask.

Luas spokeswoman Dervla Brophy said there had been no big increase in commuter numbers on either the Red or Green line trams. Dublin Bus spokeswoman Carol Donohue said the numbers using services on Monday were up marginally. But she added that with third-level institutions returning in coming weeks the company expected to be busier.

A spokeswoman for Bus Éireann said it had not seen a significant increase in passenger numbers. If there was an increase at all, said the spokeswoman, it was “small”.