Bikeconomics

Dublin traffic congestion costs economy €350 million per year

The Irish Department of Transport estimates aggravated traffic congestion in the Dublin area is costing the economy an estimated €350 million per year. The Department of Transport’s Economic and Financial Evaluation Unit has undertaken a research project which is looking at the cost of aggravated traffic congestion on Ireland’s transportation network.

Traffic congestion

According to a report in the Irish Times, Shane Ross T.D. the Minister for Transport told Fianna Fáil T.D. John Lahart…

I understand that the analysis undertaken for the report estimates that the cost of time lost due to aggravated congestion in the greater Dublin area is currently €350 million per annum and is forecasted to rise to €2 billion per annum in 2033

Congestion challenges for Dublin & other Irish Cities

Many commuters will readily agree that traffic congestion in the Dublin region & in other major cities such as Cork & Galway is continuing to worsen especially as the economy continues to improve. The result of poor planning in the past alongside the housing crisis impacting the country is forcing many people to live further from their places of work. This is resulting in more people travelling to their destinations by car.

Physics alone dictates that for most Irish towns & cities, it is not feasible to cater for all the motorised traffic currently using our roads & streets let alone allow for significantly more traffic. In the absence of any major investment in public transport options, authorities need to be more creative about how to alter the modal share of transport especially during rush hours for commuters. This will also be necessary for Ireland to try to reduce its transport related emissions which will significantly breach our EU 2020 targets.

 

How can cycling help?

Through encouraging more commuters to cycle to their destination e.g. work, school, college etc. Irish authorities have a solution to tackle congestion in Dublin & other cities for a reasonably low investment compared to what would be required to build more motorways, light rail systems, metros etc. Most people will not abandon their daily commute by car & switch to bicycle but if the infrastructure is there to develop a network of safe, segregated & well maintained cycle lanes, tens of thousands of commuter journeys could be made by bicycle each workday that will help significantly reduce congestion.

Safety while cycling a bicycle is one of the most quoted reasons why road users choose not to cycle in Ireland by bicycle. Most of Ireland’s cyclists are cycling alongside motorised traffic on shared road space. Safety is one of the reasons many women choose not to cycle to their destinations & it is a major reason why parents are afraid to let their children cycle to school.

Authorities have kicked the can down the road so far, we are not reaching a point that they need to invest money in some infrastructure. The congestion problem is not going away & according to the Department of Transport, by 2033, the cost to the economy of Dublin caused by congestion will exceed €2 billion!