Friday 5 August 2011

Cars roll on as commuters spend nearly 7 hours a week travelling

IRELAND is a nation of commuters highly dependent on cars, with public transport only easily accessed by half of the rural population.

They are the major findings of research on Irish travel patterns, which also revealed that Irish commuters spend an average of six-and-three-quarter hours on journeys each week, covering 221 kilometres.

They also take 2.4 journeys on average each day with the average journey of 13km taking 24 minutes to complete.

The CSO study reveals that rural dwellers make fewer journeys but travel further than their urban counterparts.

The average journey made by people living in rural areas is 80% longer than journeys taken by people living in cities and towns.

However, both groups still spend a similar amount of time commuting, irrespective of the distance.

The CSO research on the commuting habits of more than 7,220 people is one of the most comprehensive studies of travel patterns ever conducted in the Republic.

On access to local public transport services, 95% of urban households said such services were readily available compared to just 51% of rural commuters.

Work-related journeys account for 25% of all travel followed closely by shopping and eating or drinking out at 23%.

Visiting family and friends and other forms of social entertainment accounted for 17% of the total journeys taken.

The report also confirms Ireland’s dependency on cars for travel, with almost three-quarters of all journeys being made by private car.

Walking is the second most popular mode of travel with 16% of all journeys made on foot.

However, just 1% of commuters regularly travel by bicycle.

The average journey on foot is 2km and takes 17 minutes to complete, while the average bike journey is 5km, lasting 25 minutes.

Only 4% of all journeys are made by bus and just 1% of commuters use either rail, Dart or Luas.

Six percent of urban residents are regular users of buses compared to just 1% of rural dwellers.

Seven out of 10 journeys take less than 30 minutes with just 8% lasting over an hour, while 41% of journeys are less than 4km.

Irish Examiner

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