Sharp rise in traffic following easing of restrictions

Numbers of cars and trucks on roads greater than corresponding period in 2020, says CSO

The CSO bulletin was compiled using data collected by a variety of State agencies. File photograph: Getty

The CSO bulletin was compiled using data collected by a variety of State agencies. File photograph: Getty

 

Easing of intercounty travel restrictions resulted in significantly greater car traffic volumes on the roads in May, according to the latest report from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

In many cases the numbers of cars and trucks on the roads was greater than the corresponding period in 2020, but still less than 2019 – before coronavirus.

The number of new cars licensed in May 2021 were also up on the previous year, rising by 5,847 vehicles – but there were 1,789 less vehicles licensed than was the case in May 2019.

The CSO said while the virus continues to have a big impact on airport business, the number of passengers travelling through Dublin Airport in April 2021 grew by 9 per cent, above April 2020.

The number of rail and bus journeys are at their highest level since the beginning of 2021.

According to the bulletin, the volume of cars on State roads has been rising slowly since the start of the year and more rapidly since travel restrictions lifted on May 10th.

The easing of travel restrictions is also reflected in the greater use of public transport. Latest available data show the total number of rail and bus journeys are at their highest since the beginning of 2021.

Regional locations

However Nele van der Wielen, statistician with the CSO, said from May 10th when the countrywide travel restrictions changed from a 20km radius to anywhere within Ireland, there was a significant increase in mobility. The week from May 10th was marked by an increase of 18 per cent in car-traffic volumes in selected regional locations.

Car-traffic volumes in the week beginning May 24th were nearly twice as high in regional locations than in the similar week of 2020. But volumes were still 17 per cent lower than the equivalent week of 2019.

“The lifting of travel restrictions within Ireland is also reflected in the increased usage of public transport, said the CSO. Latest available data on the total number of rail and bus journeys indicate they are now at their highest level since the beginning of 2021” said Dr van der Wielen

The bulletin was compiled using data collected by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the Road Safety Authority, National Transport Authority, Dublin City Council, Office of the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Transport.