Cyclists make up half of rush hour traffic in Dublin

A traffic count has revealed how, despite the lack of dedicated cycling infrastructure, cycling has become the majority mode of transport in the morning rush hour in central Dublin. 

The count was carried out last month by the Dublin Cycling Campaign. It mirrors similar surveys in London which show that cyclists are the majority of users on some major commuter roads in peak times. 

However, in Ireland just as in the UK, cyclists get a disproportionately slim slice of transport budgets, with motorists still getting the lion’s share of funding.

The new Dublin study was carried out during the morning rush hour on Wednesday 27th June. All bikes, cars, vans, trucks and buses travelling along Ormond Quay towards the city centre during this time period were counted. 

The results showed that cyclists account for almost half of all road users travelling between 8am and 9.15am, with 1,126 bikes recorded out of a total vehicle count of 2,314. This gives cyclists a 49 percent share of all road vehicles.

Significantly, according to the count, cycles outnumbered private cars by a ratio of almost 2:1.

The road where the count was taken has no dedicated cycling infrastructure, and campaigners believe cycle usage would climb even higher – and thereby reduce traffic congestion and lead to less pollution – if such protected cycleways were introduced. 

A Dublin City Council traffic study at the same location in May 2017 recorded a 25 per cent modal share for people on bikes. 

A statement from the Dublin Cycling Campaign said the city council is "underestimating the need and the demand for dedicated cycling infrastructure" in central Dublin.

"This new traffic survey reinforces Dublin Cycling Campaign’s demand for urgent action to be taken to progress the construction of the Liffey Cycle Route," continued the statement. 

"This segregated cycle route, which was first proposed in 2011, has withered in the hands of Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority and we are now calling for real leadership to realise the scheme."

The campaign is proposing to organise regular protests on Ormond Quay to highlight the need for protection for cyclists, who are now almost in the absolute majority during peak times.

In London, 70 percent of the rush hour traffic on Blackfriars bridge and over 50 per cent on Embankment is now people on bikes.

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