An analysis of cycle counts to/from Dublin city centre since 2019 shows the following:

  • Only 1 of the 5 locations analysed is counting more cyclists in 2022 as compared to 2019
  • Overall, weekday cycle counts in 2022 are down 31% when compared to 2019. Weekend cycle counts are however higher in 2022 than 2019.
  • For month of April 2022, weekday cycle counts are down 28% and weekend cycle counts are up 19% when compared with April 2019

There are cycling counters at 5 locations that can be classified as commuting corridors into Dublin city centre, each with data from January 2019 onwards – which makes them good candidates to assess trends in volumes of cycle commuters from before, during and after the COVID period.

Guild St. beside Samuel Beckett bridge would have been another good candidate to add to this list, however unfortunately the data stopped for this counter in the course of 2021.

The volume of cyclists counted at these 5 locations is shown in the table below. Note: the values for 2022 are for the first 4 months only.

The table below shows the distribution (%) across the 5 locations.

The contribution of Charleville Mall to the total, while small in absolute numbers, has increased more than 2 fold since 2019, meaning this is the only location of the 5 to have seen an increase in cyclists since 2019. This can mostly be attributed to the new cycling/walking bridge and linear park which connects the Royal Canal at Charleville Mall to Guild St. and the wider Docklands (opened August 2020).

Weekdays and Weekends

When splitting the cycle counts by weekday and weekend, it’s clear that an increase in COVID and post-COVID weekend cycling is masking an even bigger gulf between weekday cycling pre and post-COVID.

Weekend cycling in 2022 has been ahead of 2019 in 3 of the 4 months so far and by as much as 34% – as was the case for the month of January.

In April 2022, for example, the median daily weekend count was 4,729 Vs. 3,970 in April 2019 – an increase of 19%. The low weekend count for February 2022 can probably be accounted for by a number of weather alerts, including storm Eunice which arrived on Friday 18th February.

Weekday cycling counts in 2022 are down by 31% in the first 4 months of 2022.

It appears that office workers who have the opportunity to work remotely are continuing to do so in significant numbers. Workers in retail, hospitality and front line staff are possibly cycling in greater numbers in 2022 than in 2019. It’s unlikely the increase in weekend cycling can be fully accounted for by an increase in leisure cycling given the location of the counters.

The overall count at the 5 locations (weekday and weekend sum) is below: