Traffic nearly back to pre-Covid levels

by Gazette Reporter
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Use of cars and HGVs on our roads back at near pre COVID-19 levels but public slower to return to public transport
  • Traffic counter data from selected sites across the country shows that the volume of cars dropped by more than 70% for the 6-week period from 29 March to 9 May. In the week beginning 21 June they had recovered to just 30% below the equivalent week in 2019.
  • The volume of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) recorded at selected Dublin sites dropped by 29% or more for six of the seven weeks between 29 March and 16 May
  • HGV volumes in the week beginning 21 June were slightly higher than the same period last year for Dublin sites and just 2.6% lower for regional sites
  • The number of passenger journeys on public transport fell by more than 10-fold from in excess of 5.6 million in the week commencing 1 March to just over 514,000 in the week commencing 12 April. Passenger journeys now at 30% of 1 March levels
  • Weekly road traffic volumes for cars and HGVs is returning to pre COVID-19 levels at a significantly faster rate than public transport volumes

The CSO has today (3 July 2020) launched a new transport bulletin. The bulletin captures the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on traffic volumes and the number of journeys taken on public transport. This bulletin is compiled using data collected by the Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the Road Safety Authority and the National Transport Authority.

The data shows that COVID-19 restrictions had a significant impact on the volumes of cars and HGVs on Irish roads. This was especially evident in the six-week period from March 29th to May 9th, when car volumes fell by more than 70% compared to the same period last year, and there was a reduction of approximately 30% in the volume of HGVs on the roads. The data shows that the effect of COVID-19 restrictions on traffic volumes in Dublin was very similar to the effect in regional locations.

Commenting on the introduction of this new bulletin, Olive Loughnane, Statistician, said: ‘This bulletin analyses traffic counter data from selected sites to examine the changes that have occurred in traffic volumes since 1 March. The COVID-19 restrictions have clearly had a significant influence on traffic volumes and the number of journeys on public transport.

As restrictions ease, traffic volumes are recovering. Data for last week (21 June– 27 June) shows that car traffic volumes at regional sites and in Dublin are now just one third lower than they were for the same week in 2019.

Further commenting on the Transport Bulletin, Olive Loughnane said: ‘The number of passenger journeys on public transport has dropped dramatically since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. The number of journeys taken in the first three weeks of April were ten times lower than those taken in the first week of March. Furthermore, public transport volumes are recovering at a much slower rate than road traffic.’

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