An increase in cycling in the Dublin Metropolitan Area takes up to 60,000 cars off the road every day, according to a report published by Sustrans and the National Transport Authority (NTA).
The Bike Life survey found that improved cycling infrastructure in the area would enable up to 350,000 people to travel from their homes to the O’Connell Bridge in less than 25 minutes, giving them increased mobility and access to the city centre.
Out of those surveyed, 84% said they supported building more kerb-separated on-road cycle lanes, even if this means less room for motor vehicles.
Nearly a quarter of adults cycle at least once a week in the Dublin Metropolitan Area, including 11% who cycle five days a week or more. The report found there is an appetite for cycling but not the safe space for a significant number of people cycling across the city
The information in the report comes from local cycling data, modelling and an independent, demographically representative survey of more than 1,100 residents from across the Dublin Metropolitan Area, whether they cycled or not.
In the report, 78% of Dublin Metropolitan Area residents said they believe that more cycling would make their area a better place to live and work. Some 82% agreed that space for people socialising, cycling and walking on their local main street should be increased.
The benefits to the Dublin area are also outlined in the report, with the physical activity benefits of cycling preventing 52 early deaths annually, which is valued at €263m (£240m).
The report also found that 21% of residents said they do not currently cycle but would like to, and 33% highlighted safety as the primary concern for why they do not cycle or cycle less often.
Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, the transport authority for Greater Dublin and the public transport licensing agency for Ireland, said: “From a sustainability and health point of view, you can’t beat cycling. That is why at the NTA, we always are working to improve cycling infrastructure across Ireland.
“More recently, we have provided financial support to local authorities including Dublin City Council to improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists in response to the Covid-19 crisis in places like Grangegorman, Rathmines and Nassau St. We welcome the findings in the Bike Life report, and we look forward to the opportunity it provides us to grow and improve our cycling facilities, both in the Dublin Metropolitan Area and in the whole of Ireland.
The Bike Life survey is the biggest assessment of cycling in urban areas in Ireland and the UK. It is produced by sustainable transport charity Sustrans in partnership with city authorities. This is the first report outside of the UK and in partnership with the NTA.