According to the CSO (Central Statistics Office), the volume of cars on Irish roads is almost back to the levels before the lockdown and the volume of trucks is actually even greater than the volume on the roads last year.
The CSO also revealed that journeys by bus and rail were 57% lower than March until August 8 found that before Covid-19. The combined bus and rail journeys in the week beginning April 12 was more than 10 times lower than those taken in the first week of March.
In fact rail journeys from week starting April 5 was down 97% compared to the first week of March of this year. The number of airline passengers in the first seven months of 2020 is more than 70% lower than the same period last year. Passengers in July 2020 fell from more than 89% from 3.93m to 416,436 when compared with the same period in 2019.
The figures suggest that during the same period, the volume of cars was just 16.3% lower in Dublin and 12.6% lower around the rest of the country when compared to the same period in 2019.
Amazingly, in the first three weeks of March, leading up to the most severe restrictions, HGV traffic volumes in Dublin and around the country were actually higher than in 2019. CSO statistician Olive Loughnane said:
"The Covid-19 restrictions had a significant influence on traffic volumes, the number of journeys on public transport, and travel through Irish airports.
"The number of passenger journeys on public transport has dropped dramatically since the start of the Covid-19 crisis with journeys by rail most severely hit.
"Public transport volumes are recovering at a much slower rate than road traffic."
As we have highlighted before in recent posts, new car sales were also dramatically affected. The number of new vehicles licensed in the first seven months of 2020 fell by more than 31,000 vehicles compared to the same period in 2019. This is a drop of just over 33%.
In a terrible statistic, road deaths increased in the first seven months of 2020 despite traffic levels dropping massively. Sadly, there were 84 road fatalities compared with 78 for the same period last year.
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader
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