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Transport Bulletin

01 March to 08 August 2020

CSO statistical release, , 11am

Transport Bulletin Series 3

Information on transport indicators during the COVID-19 period

Key findings

  • Traffic counter data from selected sites shows that the volume of cars for the week commencing 02 August was just 12.6% lower in regional locations and 16.3% lower in Dublin than the same week in 2019
  • The volume of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) measured for selected sites since 28 June is now greater than it was for the same period in 2019 in Dublin
  • The volume of HGVs measured for regional locations is now greater than it was for 2019 since 28 June except for week beginning 02 August when it decreased by 0.2%
  • The impact of COVID restrictions on rail journeys was more significant than that on journeys by bus or Luas
  • The pace of recovery of road traffic volumes for cars and HGVs to pre COVID-19 levels continues to outstrip that of public transport passenger numbers
  • Number of vehicles licensed in first seven months of 2020 fell by more than 31,000 vehicles compared to the same period in 2019
  • COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on airport passenger numbers

Road Traffic Volumes

Source: Transport Infrastructure Ireland

This analysis utilises traffic counter data from selected sites to examine the changes that have occurred in traffic volumes since 1 March. Vehicles are counted when they pass over loops embedded in the road surface. The traffic counters distinguish between different vehicle classes. This bulletin looks at data for cars and HGVs. As road traffic patterns are subject to seasonality, data for each week is compared with the corresponding week in 2019.

The data, which is illustrated in figures 1 and 2, shows that COVID-19 restrictions had a very similar impact on traffic volumes in Dublin and in regional locations. In the weeks when restrictions were most stringent (from 29 March to 2 May) the volume of cars on the roads was more than 70% lower than in 2019. See table 1 and figure 1.

As restrictions eased car traffic volumes increased, but they are not yet back up to 2019 levels. Data for the week 02 August - 08 August shows that car traffic volumes at regional sites were 12.6% lower than the same week in 2019. The corresponding difference for Dublin is 16.3%.

Table 2 and figures 3 and 4 provide an insight into HGV traffic volumes. The decrease in HGV traffic due to COVID-19 restrictions was not as pronounced as for cars. In the first three weeks of March, leading up to the severest restrictions, HGV traffic volumes in Dublin and in regional locations were higher than in 2019, although HGV traffic volume was decreasing in those weeks. Over the course of April and May, Dublin saw a greater decrease in HGV traffic than the selected regional locations. The year-on-year comparisons of HGV volumes for the weeks commencing 12 and 19 April 2020 are both affected by the timing of Easter (21 April 2019 and 12 April 2020).

Since 17 May HGV traffic has been climbing steadily. The volume of HGV traffic in Dublin has exceeded 2019 levels since 21 June. This milestone was reached one week later in the selected regional locations. There was a slight fall (-0.2%) in HGV traffic in regional locations for week beginning 02 August compared to the corresponding week in 2019.

X-axis label20192020
01-Mar566875564047
08-Mar571127508750
15-Mar529787333658
22-Mar582231274879
29-Mar586954142579
05-Apr583726137812
12-Apr587824131479
19-Apr543564155289
26-Apr580888159124
03-May560744166742
10-May593643197908
17-May596373256576
24-May602191285690
31-May566180284275
07-Jun591983356707
14-Jun598739393315
21-Jun595749414166
28-Jun596223441264
05-Jul588187458565
12-Jul587682469970
19-Jul584826475946
26-Jul589395478502
02-Aug558014466785
X-axis label20192020
01-Mar183536190841
08-Mar186325169578
15-Mar177464104224
22-Mar19158189044
29-Mar19365047120
05-Apr19315045754
12-Apr19316342924
19-Apr18848650543
26-Apr19291752611
03-May19012953634
10-May19599464763
17-May19684984340
24-May20160492978
31-May19069392538
07-Jun194947115419
14-Jun198237126622
21-Jun194043134399
28-Jun196666151991
05-Jul198875160634
12-Jul197912165950
19-Jul195551170096
26-Jul206284174155
02-Aug195066170392
Show Table: Table 1 Average weekly volume of cars for selected traffic count sites, 01 March to 08 August

X-axis label20192020
01-Mar4286246280
08-Mar4268947238
15-Mar3707440529
22-Mar4361244610
29-Mar4333028171
05-Apr4299526082
12-Apr4284723169
19-Apr3332927371
26-Apr4218528749
03-May3680826011
10-May4263430078
17-May4299938816
24-May4256341786
31-May3788537984
07-Jun4423943693
14-Jun4398543908
21-Jun4381143935
28-Jun4342045046
05-Jul4280944793
12-Jul4255244045
19-Jul4182044327
26-Jul4110043546
02-Aug3676538057
X-axis label20192020
01-Mar1524915620
08-Mar1524415932
15-Mar1343813952
22-Mar1601515219
29-Mar1581311225
05-Apr1582810787
12-Apr155819405
19-Apr1278911166
26-Apr1559611470
03-May1385410386
10-May1589112054
17-May1558913604
24-May1568214221
31-May1393512980
07-Jun1594615144
14-Jun1581415313
21-Jun1494415366
28-Jun1537115469
05-Jul1556615749
12-Jul1544115912
19-Jul1524315924
26-Jul1536515417
02-Aug1342213392
Show Table: Table 2 Average weekly volume of heavy goods vehicles for selected traffic count sites, 01 March to 08 August

Vehicles Licensed

Source: Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the number of vehicles licensed continued to be felt in the month of July 2020. In the first seven months of this year, the number of new cars licensed was 31,867 lower than in the same period of 2019, a drop of 33.1%. See Vehicles licensed for the first time July 2020.

20192020
January2227920665
February1417813263
March1440410239
April137941338
May91261490
June38582189
July1874115329
Show Table: Table 3 Number of private cars licensed for the first time, January to July

Road Fatalities

Source: Road Safety Authority

There were 84 road fatalities in the first seven months of 2020. This compares with 78 for the same period last year.

Show Table: Table 4 Number of road fatalities per month, January to July

Public Transport Volumes

Source: National Transport Authority

The number of passenger journeys on public transport has dropped dramatically since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Data relating to bus and rail journeys is presented in table 5 and figure 6. This data shows that the combined number of journeys taken on these modes in the week commencing 12 April was over ten times lower than those taken in the first week of March. It is important to bear in mind that this week includes the Easter holiday.

The data indicates that rail was the mode of transport that was most severely hit since the onset of the crisis. In the week commencing 05 April the number of journeys undertaken was 97.2% lower than it was in the first week of March of this year. Rail data includes passenger journeys on Intercity and DART services.

Data on Luas journeys taken is presented in table 6 and illustrated in figure 7. The data indicates that the impact of COVID-19 on the Luas red and green lines, while very similar, has been slightly greater on the green line.

It is worth noting that the number of journeys taken on public transport is not recovering at the same rate as road traffic volumes. Rail continues to be the most severely affected mode of public transport.

X-axis labelDublin Metro BusBus excluding DublinRail
01-Mar3118388759099856295
08-Mar2558064608072912353
15-Mar889683202304658934
22-Mar62620114997697413
29-Mar3625518540526427
05-Apr3787059223724019
12-Apr3545528425626808
19-Apr40871510025532728
26-Apr42639510579935270
03-May45154710906637642
10-May49689812204943357
17-May61376414646265923
24-May72808016915895072
31-May726144170657103530
07-Jun861573216191130802
14-Jun1001001248013170729
21-Jun1052931258414200664
28-Jun1191210300688244513
05-Jul1289296336563261970
12-Jul1313755343314275425
19-Jul1345114359881300634
26-Jul1386355367623324822
02-Aug1342910354197321844
Show Table: Table 5 Passenger journeys by public transport, 01 March to 08 August

X-axis label20192020
02-Mar941919914613
09-Mar924998684508
16-Mar868205172062
23-Mar1003871109378
30-Mar93357551655
06-Apr94566251695
13-Apr84218649393
20-Apr80129655246
27-Apr91925553321
04-May81793362327
11-May90498370288
18-May90241597318
25-May973025121645
01-Jun826269116454
08-Jun925516162187
15-Jun883208198036
22-Jun905636212109
29-Jun982288260302
06-Jul919158272181
13-Jul903958281255
20-Jul926491299837
27-Jul832452329980
03-Aug807393324687
Show Table: Table 6 Passenger journeys by Luas per week

Aviation data

Source: Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock and Kerry airports.

Air passenger data shows a dramatic fall in passengers handled by Irish airports due to COVID-19 restrictions. Data on airport passengers is presented in table 7 and illustrated in figure 8. The number of passengers travelling through Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports in the first seven months of 2020 is 70.3% lower than the same period last year.

The total number of passengers handled by those airports in July 2020 fell from 3,911,133 to 416,436, a drop of 89.4% when compared with the same period in 2019.  Data for Kerry and Knock airport was not yet available at the time of publication.

 

DublinCorkShannonKnockKerry
Percentage change-65.7-66.3-70.7-70.4-66.9
Show Table: Table 7 Number of passengers handled by main airports, January to July 2019 and 2020

For further COVID-19 related information go to the CSO COVID-19 Information Hub

Further Information

Contact
E-mail: transport@cso.ie
Olive Loughnane
021 4535281
Noreen Dorgan
021 4535260