Number of daily Dublin cyclists doubles to more than 95,000

Dublinbikes has played an important role in steady rise of cyclists across the capital

The number of cyclists in Dublin city has more than doubled in the past six years, with more than 95,000 people using their bikes in the capital every day.

The number of users of  Dublinbike  has also soared in recent years, with 16,285 people availing daily of the city bike service, up from 4,474 in 2010.

The latest cycling figures from Dublin City Council reveal that cycling is becoming increasingly popular in the capital, with the number of bike users rising by more than 17 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

An average of 89,092 cyclists were recorded using their bikes around the city centre last year compared to just 40,030 bike users in 2011. The total number of cyclists in Dublin hit 95,166 for 2016 when the Rosie Hackett Bridge was included in the data.

The Samuel Beckett Bridge was added to the count following its construction in 2011 and the Rosie Hackett Bridge was added in 2015.

Numbers have been steadily rising over the past six years, with 61,285 cyclists counted in 2013 and 77,345 counted in 2015.

The busiest spots in the city for cyclists include Burgh Quay, D’Olier Street, Aston Quay, Dame Street, George’s Street, Eden Quay and O’Connell Street.

Some 6,319 cyclists passed through Dame Street and George’s street daily in 2016, while 7,353 people cycled down O’Connell Street and Eden Quay.

The number of cyclists along the East Link Bridge, North Wall Quay and East Wall Road soared by nearly 80 per cent between 2015 and 2016, while numbers on Memorial Road, Custom House Quay and George’s Quay rose by nearly 70 per cent.

Last year’s count of cyclists in Dublin was carried out from May 11th - 31st over 12 hours between 7am-7pm on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

Injuries rising

Most locations recorded an increase in cyclists in 2016, with just eight locations noting a drop in bike users.

These included the junction of Usher’s Island, Watling Street Bridge which noted a 10 per cent drop.

Surprisingly, there was also a nine per cent drop in the number of cyclists along D’Olier Street, Aston Quay and Burgh Quay.

Dame Street and George’s Street has had the highest percentage of cyclists every year between 2007 and 2016, with bikes making up 29.3 per cent of all traffic along these streets in 2016.

The Dublinbikes scheme has played an important role in the rise in bike users, with more than 100 rental stations dotted across the city.

The study of cyclists was carried out by Dublin City Council as part of the 2007-2012 cycle action plan in order to measure changes in cycle usage within the city centre.

The counts are carried out at 30 locations across the city between Heuston station, the East Link Bridge, Parnell Street and St Stephen’s Green.

The total number of cyclists recorded across the city has increased by 129.5 per cent since counts began in 2007.

While increasing numbers of bike enthusiasts are taking to our roads, more than 100 cyclists are being seriously injured in collisions each year, with the number of cycling related injuries steadily rising between 2006 and 2014, according to data from the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

Cycling groups have argued that the RSA statistics actually “grossly misrepresent” the true level of injuries sustained on Irish roads and that thousands of people are suffering serious injuries each year.

There have been 11 cycle deaths so far this year, compared to just five deaths the first six months of 2016.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast