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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Dubs get on their bikes as number of cycling commuters goes up 43pc

Dublin Bikes in the capital. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Dublin Bikes in the capital. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Dublin's cyclists are leading the fight for a greener route to work, with two-thirds of all commuting cyclists living in the capital, new figures show.

The number cycling to work nationally has risen dramatically - by 43pc (56,837) since 2011 - according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The Commuting In Ireland report highlighted that three million people were commuting to work, school or college daily in 2016 - up 9.3pc on 2011.

The number working in Dublin city and suburbs passed the half-million mark in 2016, with a daytime working population of 512,449, up 9pc on 2011, and a total of 29pc of the State's workforce.

In April 2016, two-thirds (38,870) of all cyclists were in the capital, while only 2,330 cycled to work in Cork city and suburbs, 1,874 in Galway, 968 in Limerick, and 395 in Waterford.

Men accounted for three- quarters of those who cycled.

The numbers walking to work increased by 4,570 to 175,080 - just 9.3pc of all commuters.

Walkers and cyclists accounted for 22pc of commuters in 1986 (196,750), falling to just 12pc (231,917) in April 2016.

Congestion

Dublin is, according to the figures, bucking a national trend that has seen most drivers refusing to relinquish their cars for the daily commute despite congestion and environmental concerns.

More than 65pc (1,229,966) of the country's three million commuters take to the road or are transported to work in a vehicle.

More than six out of 10 used a car to get to work in Cork and Limerick, and seven out of 10 in rural areas. But Dublin showed itself to be greener, with just under half of workers driving to the office.

For those who decided to stay in their cars, commuting times increased. Those in counties bordering Dublin had the longest average commuting time nationally, with those in Meath and Wicklow travelling for almost 35 minutes.

Almost 200,000 commuters (one in 10) spent an hour or more commuting to work, a rise of almost 50,000 (31pc) on 2011. The worst-affected area in the country was the Laytown- Bettystown-Mornington area, where 28pc of 4,565 workers travelled an hour or more.

This compared to a national average of 28.2 minutes, up from 26.6 minutes in 2011.

Some 59.8pc of primary school children went to school by car, compared to 59.2pc in 2011, while commuting by bus fell by 7pc on 2011.

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