Traffic levels still lower than pre-pandemic despite return to workplaces

Traffic counters show marginal increase in volume after lifting of restrictions

A phased return to work has not led to a major increase in the volume of traffic on the roads.

Figures for last Friday, compiled by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, showed traffic numbers were dramatically higher than in 2021 when the country was in full lockdown, but still lower than in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Traffic counters on 15 routes in the State saw 12 had an increase in traffic, one had no change and the N15 south of Lifford in Co Donegal had a 6 per cent decrease. That decrease in traffic is most likely accounted for by roadworks which will be going on until March. There was also a 3 per cent decrease in traffic on the N3 north of Belturbet.

On busy routes in and out of Dublin, traffic was up by 3 per cent on the M50 between the N3 and N4 junctions, the busiest in the country; by 2 per cent on the M1 between Dublin Airport and the M50; and 1 per cent on both the M4 between Celbridge and Maynooth and the N7 at City West.


Traffic on the N40 Cork South ring road was up by 2 per cent, the N6 at Bóthar na dTreabh into Galway city by 4 per cent and the M7 into Limerick by 3 per cent.

The M1 north of junction 20 into south Armagh was up by 8 per cent – the largest increase in the State.

The figures showed traffic volumes up between 41 per cent and 86 per cent compared with the same day (January 28th) in 2021 when there was a full lockdown across the State, but still well down on pre-pandemic levels.

Traffic volumes were down compared with 2020 by between 5 per cent on the M4 to 20 per cent on Bóthar na dTreabh in Co Galway.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times