Thousands of miles more travelled in West each year

editorial image

People in the West of Northern Ireland, including Londonderry, Limavady and Strabane, travel thousands of miles more on average every year, than their counterparts in Belfast.

A new report, published by the Department of Regional Development (DSD), which was compiled from travel data gathered for the 2012/2014 period, reveals people living in Belfast travelled an average of 4,229 miles per year, over three tenths less than the 6,151 miles and 6,191 miles for those living in the East of Northern Ireland and the West of Northern Ireland respectively.

People in Belfast also travelled more on foot and on public transport than in the West, according to the report.

“Eleven percent of the distance travelled by Belfast respondents was on public transport, higher than for Eastern and Western respondents (both seven per cent).

“On average, Belfast residents travelled further on foot (five per cent) compared to Eastern (two per cent) and Western residents (three per cent),” the report states.

The report also provides an intriguing breakdown of our preferred modes of transport in the West, which for the survey included Londonderry, Limavady, Strabane, Armagh, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Cookstown, Dungannon, Fermanagh, Limavady, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newry and Mourne and Omagh.

It shows we drove 3,400 miles and travelled as car passengers for 1,567 miles on average over 2012/2014.

Five hundred and four miles were travelled on “other private” transport. We travelled 297 miles on public buses and 83 miles on “other buses.”

We walked 174 miles, travelled 75 miles by train, travelled 56 miles by taxi and travelled 29 miles by bike, on average. The rate of use off all forms of transport here was above the Northern Ireland average, apart from rail, with 111 miles travelled per year on average across NI.

Cars and vans are also the preferred option for getting to and from work.

“The percentage of workers using a car/van for travelling to work is lower among Belfast residents (68 per cent) than residents in the East (85 per cent) and in the West (86 per cent) of NI. Workers living in Belfast are more likely to travel to work by bus (13 per cent) than those living in the East (three per cent) and in the West (two per cent) of NI. A greater proportion of workers who live in Belfast (12 per cent) and in the West of Northern Ireland (10 per cent) walk to work compared to those living in the East of Northern Ireland (six per cent).”