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Dublin: 14°C Thursday 26 May 2022

Only 'minor increase' in Dublin city centre traffic levels over last fortnight

New data released by Dublin City Council shows a 60%-70% decrease in traffic since mid-March.

Image: Shutterstock/abd

THERE HAS BEEN a “minor” increase in traffic levels across Dublin City since Easter Sunday, according to new data provided by Dublin City Council. 

Last week, data from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) showed traffic levels had increased by 10% since the first three weeks of restrictions, which came into effect on 27 March, leading to concerns that complacency was setting in amongst the public. 

Last week, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said seismic data from the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies (DIAS) and from Apple mobile phone monitoring showed an increase in movement across Ireland. 

The latter data, said Dr Holohan, showed an increase in patterns of driving, walking and transit.

Dr Holohan warned against complacency and pointed to data from traffic volumes, mobile phones and seismic sensors that suggested an increase in activity, or a “slippage” in compliance.

Dr Holohan said he understood the public’s frustration, but said “it would take very little indeed for us to lose the good work we have done”.

New data provided by Dublin City Council shows a significant drop in traffic volumes in and out of Dublin City between 12 March, the day school closures were announced, and Easter Sunday 12 April.

image004 Average Hourly Traffic Volumes in Dublin City Centre. Source: Dublin City Council

The data is measured over a 24-hour period and relates to traffic volumes, including public transport, between The Royal Canal and The Grand Canal, which are 5 kilometres apart.

The data was gathered at 40 junctions throughout the city centre. 

The Council’s Head of Technical Services Brendan O’Brien explained the figures are gathered from multiple junctions and accumulated data. 

Since Easter Monday, there has been a “minor” increase – about 6% – in numbers travelling in and out of Dublin City, O’Brien said.

This compares with a “significant” drop in traffic overall between early March and Monday this week. 

“Our figures are showing minor increases [since 12 April] but nothing major,” said O’Brien. “It’s way down on what it was before.”

“We had that pretty significant fall-off, 60-70%, in volume of traffic across the city and that’s reflected in the fact people aren’t coming in for work, for retail. It’s also reflective of that there’s not a lot of taxis on the road,” said O’Brien. 

“In these figures you also have people working in hospitals, in supermarkets,” he added. 

image005 Source: Dublin City Council

Nationally, data from TII shows that between Thursday 2 April and Thursday 23 April traffic volumes on the M50 increased by 11%, on the M8 by 9% and on the M1 by 7%.

Said O’Brien: “The TII figures may show an increase but people are tending to stay more around their local areas.”

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