Belfast Telegraph

Car is still king of the road here as it accounts for 70% of all our journeys

The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland (TSNI) looks at journeys made between 2016 and 2018 (stock photo)
The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland (TSNI) looks at journeys made between 2016 and 2018 (stock photo)
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

The car is still the dominant form of transport in Northern Ireland.

It accounts for around 70% of journeys made here, according to a new report.

The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland (TSNI) looks at journeys made between 2016 and 2018. The survey examined mode of travel and purpose of journey.

It found people here travel 5,868 miles a year on average - equivalent to 16 miles every day.

People made 903 journeys every year - two per day.

The survey commissioned by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) shows that the average journey length was 6.5 miles.

Shopping (17%) and commuting (16%) were the main reasons for people making journeys while 13% said it was for personal business such as visiting their doctor or bank.

In terms of miles travelled, 29% of the total distance travelled was for leisure purposes, 23% for commuting, 12% for shopping and 12% for personal business.

The shortest trips, which were 1.4 miles on average, were for "other" types of journey, including walking for pleasure.

The longest were those made to go on holiday within Northern Ireland, averaging 35.6 miles.

Distance travelled for leisure purposes decreased from 31% in 2013-2015 to 29% while distances for commuting increased from 21% to 23%.

Car journeys accounted for 70% of all trips made at 633 while each person made 169 walking journeys per year - 19% of all journeys made.

Green Party councillor Aine Groogan said the statistics show that little progress is being made when it comes to transport.

She added: "We are too reliant on cars and that is having a massive impact, not just on the economy in terms of time wasted through congestion but on our environment and health too.

"If we are serious about tackling climate breakdown, ensuring our right to breathe clean air and promoting the health and well-being of our citizens then we need to start investing properly in our public transport system and on our cycling and walking infrastructure."

Between 2016 and 2018, 4,827 miles per person per year were travelled by car, as a driver or passenger - 82% of the total distance travelled.

Public transport accounted for five per cent of all journeys made, with 47 made per person per year. An average of 438 miles per person per year was made on public transport. The longest journey length was for train journeys, averaging 19.4 miles. The shortest journeys were walks which were 0.9 miles on average.

Walking accounted for three per cent of the total distance travelled, an average of 165 miles for each person every year.

Just 24% of all journeys were taken by walking, cycling or public transport.

The most common method of travel to or from school for the 4-11 age group was car or van (61%), followed by walking (23%) and then public transport (12%).

In the 12-18 age group, 46% used public transport followed by car or van (34%) and then walking (17%).

The number of school journeys by walking, cycling or public transport was higher in the 12-18 age group (63%) than in the 4-11 age group (38%).

School journeys taken by walking, cycling or public transport by 4-11 year olds dropped from 45% (2013 to 2015) to 38% in 2016 to 2018.

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