Commuters in Ireland travelling 16.9kms on average to work

Duncan Smith TD
24 January 2024

Labour transport spokesperson and Fingal TD Duncan Smith has slammed Government for failing to legislate for a right to flexible work, and for the dearth of affordable housing in Ireland which is seeing workers travel an average of 16.9kms in their car to and from work.

Figures revealed to the Labour Party show that the average commute of people in Ireland is 16.9kms, while the average commute for college students continues to rise, up to 34.8kms in 2022.

Deputy Smith said:

“Far too many of us are spending far too much time in the car travelling to and from work. It’s a drain on people’s energy and it cuts into family and personal time, and it’s also leading to persistently high carbon emissions.

“People in Ireland travel 16.9kms on average to and from work in their car. In my own area of Fingal, the average commute is 12kms. Those in Laois, Leitrim and Roscommon face the longest average commutes at 24.4kms, 23.7kms and 22.4kms respectively.

“Those in County Galway spend an average of 22kms to and from the workplace, while Offaly and Westmeath commuters travel 21.7kms to and from work.

“There are a plethora of problems that are leading to this commuter crisis, but a lack of public transport options, affordable housing options and the lack of clarity on workers’ right to work remotely are among the reasons more and more people are being forced into the car.

“The latest Daft report shows that the average cost of a home in Dublin continues to rise, at €372,260 in Dublin City Centre in Q3 of 2023, and €388,193 in North County Dublin. House prices are pushing people further and further out from our cities.

“Failure to tackle the housing affordability crisis will be the legacy of this Government, there’s no doubt, and the impact of the housing crisis has ripple effects across society. It is forcing people into longer commutes, taking away from valuable family time and stifling local economies.

“Of course, there is a massive connectivity problem throughout Ireland too when it comes to climate friendly ways to travel to and from work. Public transport infrastructure remains underdeveloped. This Government is failing to prioritise investment in public transport and connectivity between the cities and counties to get people out of the car and onto the bus.

“We saw so many people put an end to their commute during the pandemic because of the overnight shift to flexible work. This not only benefited the people working, but also local areas which saw thriving businesses and communities.

“We saw coffee trailers pop up, people getting their hair done at home rather than travelling elsewhere, and busy, bustling communities.

“People really benefited from an improved quality of life by avoiding the disheartening commute. That’s why Labour continue to push for a right to flexible work for all employees who can work from home.

“The commuting crisis is particularly stark for our students, with average commutes at 34.8kms, up from 32.4 in 2016. Lack of available and affordable student accommodation continues to impact many students nationwide, driving up their commute time and taking away from the opportunities that come with college life, like getting involved in teams, societies, clubs and socialising with new friends.

“If we are serious about tackling the climate crisis, then we do need to rethink how we run our society. People should have available, affordable homes close to work. If they choose to live further away from the office, then they should have reliable access to affordable public transport. In all of this, it beggars belief that Government are failing to capitalise on the benefits that flexible work can bring to tackle our rising emissions and improve the quality of life for us all.

“Commuting isn’t working for people and the commuter crisis shows no sign of abating for people in Ireland.”

ENDS

 

______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 17/01/2024
Question Number(s): *4 Question Reference(s): 56707/23
Department: Taoiseach
Asked by: Ivana Bacik T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION

QUESTION NO:  *4
To ask the Taoiseach if his Department collates data on the average commute by car; and, if so, if he will make a statement on average commute distances by car in each county.

REPLY

The following table shows the distance travelled to work by car in each administrative county as recorded in Census 2022. The longest commutes were recorded among residents of Laois, Leitrim and Roscommon, with average commutes of over 22 kilometres.  The shortest commutes were among residents of Dublin city, South Dublin and Dún Laoghaire – Rathdown with average commutes of under 10 kilometres.

Average distance to workplace by population aged 15 years and over at work, usually resident and present in the State, 2022  
Administrative Counties KMs
Ireland 16.9
Laois 24.4
Leitrim 23.7
Roscommon 22.4
Galway County 22.0
Offaly 21.7
Westmeath 21.7
Carlow 21.4
Meath 21.3
Cavan 21.2
Tipperary 21.0
Longford 20.8
Wexford 20.4
Wicklow 19.9
Mayo 19.6
Kilkenny 19.3
Clare 18.6
Cork County 18.6
Kildare 18.6
Monaghan 18.2
Kerry 17.9
Sligo 17.9
Louth 17.8
Donegal 17.4
Limerick City and County 17.3
Waterford City and County 15.5
Fingal 12.0
Galway City 10.9
Cork City 10.3
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown 9.3
South Dublin 9.1
Dublin City 8.1

 

______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 17/01/2024
Question Number(s): *5 Question Reference(s): 56722/23
Department: Taoiseach
Asked by: Ivana Bacik T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION

QUESTION NO:  *5
To ask the Taoiseach the average commute distance for journeys to work in each year since 2003.

REPLY

Average distances travelled to places of work are primarily determined using Census and National Travel Survey data. The following table sets out the average distance travelled to work in kilometres for the census years between 2002 and 2022 for persons aged 15 years and over. It should be noted that for Census 2002 and 2006, the commuting distance was calculated based on direct responses to a census question, whereas for the 2011, 2016 & 2022 censuses distance travelled was derived from geographical co-ordinates of people’s place of usual residence and their place of work.

Average distance travelled in kilometres to workplace 2002 (Kms) 2006 (Kms) 2011 (Kms) 2016 (Kms) 2022 (Kms)
Population aged 15 years and over at work 15.8 15.8 14.7  15.1  16.8

 

______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 17/01/2024
Question Number(s): *6 Question Reference(s): 56723/23
Department: Taoiseach
Asked by: Ivana Bacik T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION

QUESTION NO:  *6
To ask the Taoiseach the average commute distance for journeys to education in each year since 2003.

REPLY

Average distances travelled to places of education are primarily determined using Census and National Travel Survey data. The following table sets out the average distance travelled to education in kilometres for the census years between 2002 and 2022 for age ranges representing primary, secondary and third level students. It should be noted that for Census 2002 and 2006, the commuting distance was calculated based on direct responses to a census question, whereas for the 2011, 2016 & 2022 censuses distance travelled was based on the distance between people’s usual place of residence and their place of education. Third level students who recorded the address of their family home as their place of usual residence rather than their term time address may therefore have been attributed longer journeys in the 2011, 2016 and 2022 censuses than in the previous censuses.

Average distance travelled in kilometres to School or College 2002* (Kms) 2006* (Kms) 2011 (Kms) 2016 (Kms) 2022 (Kms)
Children at school aged between 5 and 12 years 4.0 4.0 2.8  2.8  3.2
Students at school or college aged between 13 and 18 years 8.0 7.6 7.7 7.2  7
Students at school or college aged 19 and over 13.2 12.9 30.8 32.4  34.8

 

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