Transport Trends 2018

Monday 13 August 2018

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, has today welcomed the Transport Trends 2018 document published by his Department, setting out the latest developments within the transport sector from available data and statistics.

Minister Ross said the report ‘Transport Trends – An Overview of Ireland’s Transport Sector’ demonstrates strong and continued growth across the various transport domains in Ireland, including public transport use, aviation and maritime traffic, and freight volumes.

“An additional 16 million public transport journeys last year, record numbers travelling through Irish airports, a 19% rise in cruise ship passengers and a 5% increase in goods handled by our ports are all signs of a thriving economy,” he said.

“We will continue investing in transport infrastructure to ensure that this growth continues and that workers can get to their jobs, tourists can get to every corner of the country, and goods can be shipped all over the world. Developing from the National Development Plan, our ambitious new investment plan, ‘Linking People and Places’ will deliver close to €25bn in investment in Ireland’s transport and tourism infrastructure over the next 10 years.”

“The plan includes investment of €19.7bn in our public transport and road networks including a renewed focus on the maintenance of our existing network, upgrading and expanding our inter-urban network, and major new infrastructure projects in our cities, including Metrolink and BusConnects, an innovative reimagining of the bus systems of Dublin, Cork and Galway. We have also earmarked a further €4.8bn to enable State airports and ports to improve Irish connections with the rest of the world.”

Minister Ross also welcomed the fact that road fatalities fell 16% to 157 in 2017, the lowest since records began, and said his recently-introduced legislation imposing tough new sanctions on drink driving aimed to reduce that further. “Every death on our roads is one too many and we will continue our work to save lives by taking drink drivers off the road and making it socially unacceptable to ever drink and drive,” he said.

The Minister acknowledged that challenges remained, particularly with the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to nurture our strong international connections. “Ensuring economic growth is also environmentally sustainable is a complex task, but there are promising signs. I welcome the growth in electric vehicle purchases last year, and measures such as our new incentive reducing toll costs for electric vehicles will encourage greater uptake of greener transport.”

“This report highlights how people are making ever greater use of new technologies such as Leap Cards and Real Time Passenger Information that make their journeys easier. My Department will continue to support innovative new solutions to 21st Century transport needs,” Minister Ross said.

The Transport Trends 2018 document can be found here.

Press Office, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, 01 604 1090 / 01 604 1093; Click here to unsubscribe. 

Key points

  • The number of people commuting to work grew to 1.88 million in 2016 with 65.6% of them travelling by car, down slightly since 2011. The numbers cycling to work grew by 43% to 56,837 or 3% of the total.
  • There were 157 road deaths in 2017 which was the lowest since records began and a 16% reduction on 2016. However cyclist fatalities rose from 10 in 2016 to 14 in 2017.
  • The number of passengers on the main public transport services (Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, Bus Éireann PSO and Luas) increased by 16 million to over 252 million in 2017 (+7%).
  • Over half of people (51%) entering Dublin City Centre during the morning peak in November 2017 travelled by public transport, while 12% walked, 6% cycled and 29% travelled by car.
  • Real Time Passenger Information providing live updates on arrival times of buses, trams and trains is increasingly popular, with 126 million requests for information in 2017, up from 18m in 2015.
  • Almost 130 million journeys were paid for by Leap Card in 2017 amounting to 58% of trips on Dublin Bus, 57% on Irish Rail and 48% on Luas.
  • The number of new vehicles licensed in 2017 fell by 11% to 161,840, but the total number of vehicles (old and new) on Irish roads reached its highest ever level at 2.68 million vehicles, including 2.1 million private cars.
  •  There were 914 new electric vehicles registered in 2017, up 33% and the highest number ever. This comprised 655 electric vehicles and 259 plug-in petrol or diesel  hybrids.
  • Emissions from the transport sector increased by 4% to 12.29m tonnes CO2 equivalent in 2016, with 52% coming from private cars and 26% from goods vehicles.  Transport is the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions after agriculture and energy.
  • The total volume of freight transported by road increased by 20% to 141.7 million tonnes in 2016 though it remains less than half the peak of 299 million tonnes in 2007.
  • The volume of freight shipped through Irish ports rose 5% in 2017 to 53.3 million tonnes, with Dublin Port handling nearly half of that. Trade with the UK comprised 42% of the total.
  •  The number of maritime passengers handled at Irish ports rose by 2% to 2.8 million in 2017.
  • The number of cruise ships visiting Ireland was up 12% to 234 in 2017, and the number of cruise passengers rose 19% to 264,763.
  • The number of passengers handled at Irish airports reached a record 34.5 million (+5%) in 2017 with Dublin Airport handling 29.5m of them (+6%).
  • Dublin/Heathrow is one of the top 10 busiest airport routes within the EU and the only non-domestic route among the top 10, 2016 figures show.
  • Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport expenditure was €1.71bn in 2017 with €1.4bn going on land transport, €76m on maritime, €25m on civil aviation, €97m on sport and €86m on tourism. The spending allocation for 2018 is up 12% to €1.9bn, including €1.6bn for land transport.


Note to Editors:

Transport Trends 2018 is a compendium of statistics relating to the transport sector in Ireland. It is compiled by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport mainly from existing data published by other organisations (including CSO, NTA, TII, RSA, EPA, Eurostat etc) with different time periods applying to different data sources (e.g. 2016 or 2017). Some data is provisional and could be subject to future amendments– this is indicated wherever possible throughout the report.


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