Walking and cycling takes 330,000 cars off Dublin roads each day

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

One in four Dubliners use a bike every day, according to data released by the NTA’s Walking & Cycling Index 2021 for Dublin

The index has also revealed that walking and cycling takes 330,000 cars off the road each day in the Dublin Metropolitan Area. To put this into perspective, if all of these cars were in a traffic jam, they would cover roughly 1600km; more than the distance from Dublin to Skibbereen and back, twice over.

More people feel safe using Dublin’s cycle lanes, with 65 per cent of all residents stating that they think the level of safety for cycling in their local areas is good, compared with 47 per cent in the index published in 2019.

The index, which was previously known as the Bike Life report, is the largest assessment of walking and cycling in urban areas in Ireland and is based on local walking and cycling data, modelling and an independent survey of more than 1,100 residents from across the Dublin Metropolitan Area.

It also underscores the benefits of walking and cycling, claiming that such activity prevents 589 early deaths annually at a savings value of €2.89bn.

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, commented that the report is “crucial” in identifying gaps in infrastructure, to make walking, wheeling and cycling a more attractive prospect to Dubliners.

Ninety-five per cent of Dublin respondents frequently walk or wheel, using wheelchairs or mobility scooters, a figure that Minister Ryan, described as “remarkable”. Of those respondents, 64 per cent claimed to walk or wheel at least five days per week, with 25 per cent cycling at least once a week. In comparison, 38 per cent admitted to using a car at least five or more days each week.

While walking participation was close to gender neutral, 66 per cent of women walked or wheel at least five days a week compared to 61 per cent of men, cycling remains predominately male, with 33 per cent of men using the bike at least once a week compared with just 18 per cent of women.

Anne Graham, NTA CEO, said: “The latest index reinforces the importance of encouraging more people to engage in active travel by making cycling easier and safer. With 69,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions saved each year through people choosing to walk instead to drive in the city, we have a unique opportunity to create more sustainable and inclusive communities not only in Dublin but across Ireland.”

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