Census data shows Limerick is 'lagging behind' in bike users

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Census data shows Limerick is 'lagging behind' in bike users

Of Limerick’s 76,098-strong labour force, just 1,159 cycle, according to new figures by the Central Statistics Office Picture: Adrian Butler

LESS than 2% of Limerick’s working population cycles to work, according to new Census figures recently published by the Central Statistics Office.

The statistics show that of Limerick’s 76,098-strong labour force, just 1,159 — or 1.5% — people cycle to work. The figures show that 7,100 people walk to work, while 1,917 travel via bus, and 140 commute to work by train.

In Limerick city, 2.4% of people cycle to work, less than half of Galway and Cork’s bike user levels, and a quarter of Dublin’s. The rate of Limerick city bus users, at 3.95%, is also considerably lower than other Irish cities.

Solidarity councillor Cian Prendiville said that Limerick is “lagging behind” other cities.

“I don't see why Limerick couldn’t at least match the numbers using the bus and bike to get to work in Galway in the very short term.

“As it stands they are twice as good as we are. With more investment in bus and cycle lanes, and more frequent services I think we could easily double the numbers. Ultimately, we should be striving to match Dublin and the other cities in terms of frequent and reliable public transport,” he said. 

Cllr Prendiville said that not only does using ‘smarter’ travel mean less traffic, it “also is cheaper, healthier and more environmentally friendly”. He said that he has previously proposed that Limerick City and County Council engages with Bus Eireann to organise a ‘car-free day’ with free public transport into the city.

“We need to encourage more people who maybe never take the bus, to give it a go,” he said.

More than 48,000 people drive to work. 

- For a further breakdown of the Census figures, see the Limerick Leader broadsheet, in shops on Thursday