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It's not your imagination - evening rush hour is getting longer

New data reveals our habits where it comes to getting about the place.
Mar 26th 2015, 9:30 PM 18,223 17

shutterstock_172856663 Source: traffic jam via Shutterstock

RUSH HOUR IS continuing in Ireland later into the evening, a new report shows – and there’s also more of us out and about in the wee hours of the morning.

And slightly more of us are choosing to walk cycle, or take a train or tram to our destination.

The latest National Travel Survey, published by the CSO, compares trends in our travel habits in 2013 to 2012.

It analysed the trips made by almost 15,000 people over a total of 27,800 journeys.

How are we getting there?

The vast majority of us are still travelling by private car, but the figure for 2013 is down 1.4% to 69%.

On the day surveyed, 15.4% walked to their destination, 1.5% caught a train, Dart, or Luas, and 3.8% hopped on their bike.

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How long does it take?

The majority (57.6%) of journeys were short, lasting 15 minutes or less. We were making very slightly more longer journeys – those lasting 60 minutes or more were up to 4.3% – in 2013.

We took the longest journeys by rail or tram, lasting for an average of 45 minutes over 28 kilometres. The lorry/motorcycle/other category saw almost the same distance travelled, but in just over half an hour. The average trip behind the wheel of a car lasted 20.5 minutes over just more than 15 kilometres – if you were a passenger you can add ten to both those figures.

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Needless to say, journeys in Dublin were shorter but took longer than journeys elsewhere in the country. The average speed travelled in the rest of the country was 43.9 km/h, but in Dublin it was just 27.7 km/hour – despite the journey lasting an average of two minutes more over five less kilometres.

Compared to 2012, journeys in Dublin are getting slightly faster, but they are over a longer distance and last longer.

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Where are we going?

We were mainly going to work, to shop, or bringing a friend somewhere. Interestingly, just 4.6% of journeys were for education of some kind.

Companion/escorts saw a 5% fall to 15.2% compared with 2013.

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When did we travel?

This is one point in the data released where a noticeable change in trends emerges. In 2013, there was a 5% increase (to 15.9%) in the number of journeys taken between 7pm and midnight, and a similar fall to 14.9% in the number taken between 7am and 10am.

The number of journeys take overnight rose to 4.1% from 1.7%.

This means there’s likely to be more cars on the roads later at night than before.

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Nicky Ryan

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