Most Popular Commuter Routes
In the latest of our members insights blog series, we’re highlighting some of the most popular cycle commuter routes across Ireland.
These insights have been provided by See.Sense, our Official Bicycle Lights and Data Insights Supplier. See.Sense will be continuing to provide member insight blogs throughout 2022, using data insights collected through the free See.Sense app.
As we increasingly move towards more active forms of travel, cycling to work continues to grow in popularity, with employees taking advantage of cycle to work schemes, reduced fuel costs and the easy dose of daily activity. As such, this blog reveals some of the routes that attract the most cycle-commuter traffic in Ireland. If you’re currently considering swapping petrol for pedals, hopefully these insights can highlight some of the best commuting routes near you!
Running 7 miles along the old Belfast-Comber railway line, this traffic-free pathway is a popular route for both commuting and recreational cyclists. It is an almost completely flat route, perfect for workers on bicycle travelling in and out of Belfast City Centre from Comber, Dundonald and other areas of East Belfast.
Sydenham Road onto Airport Road West:
There is a clear pattern of riders taking this route from Belfast City Centre, along a separated cycle lane recently constructed passing through Titanic Quarter, and up Airport Road West. This is a harbour industrial area with multiple places of work including factories, warehouses and businesses - and Holywood Exchange at the top of the road. Consequently, this route attracts a significant amount of cycle traffic.
Upper Newtownards Road, onto Belfast Road:
This is another popular route that runs in and out east Belfast, passing by Stormont and stretching all the way to Newtownards. Although there is no dedicated cycle infrastructure here, cyclists make use of the shared bus lane along the Upper Newtownards Road. This route serves as the main artery for commuters heading into the city centre from Dundonald, Newtownards and East Belfast.
R105 onto R807 - Dublin Road, onto James Larkin Road, onto Clontarf Road:
This picturesque coastal path north of Dublin carries commuters from Howth, Kilbarrack, Donnymount and Clontarf. Excitingly, a new 2.7km segregated cycle path from Clontarf Road to Dublin City Centre has been commissioned here as a result of the C2CC Project. This route is also mentioned in our ‘Top 5 Interesting Routes - Dublin Edition’ blog.
N31 onto R118 - Rock Road onto Merrion Road:
It’s the southern coastal route into Dublin City Centre this time, and another from our Top 5 blog. Commuters come along here from Dún Laoghaire, Blackrock and Merrion. There is cycle lane coverage most of the way along the coast, although the data shows that cyclists often prefer the beauty of the seaside road by Seapoint Beach to the marked path along the R119, through Monkstown.
R825 - Goatstown Road onto Clonskeagh Road:
This road runs from Sandyford and Goatstown, past the Belfield campus of UCD, and into central Dublin. It is understandably popular as it has great cycling infrastructure, with bollards creating a seperation from the road for much of the route - as is visible in our image. This route provides a safe and attractive option for commuting into central Dublin.
R114 Terenure Road, onto Rathgar Road, onto Rathmines Road:
Yet another main commuter route on the southside of Dublin - carrying cyclists from Terenure, Rathgar and Rathmines, past Cathal Brugha Barracks and into the City Centre. A cycle lane with a reasonably wide berth is continuously present along all these roads, hence this route’s frequent usage.
R806 Castleknock Road onto Chesterfield Avenue, through Phoenix Park:
It is easy to see why commuter cyclists from in and around Blanchardstown and Castleknock might choose to take this route into Dublin City Centre through Phoenix Park. It is an almost completely straight, flat road with limited traffic flow - and a separate cycle lane. Not to mention the beauty of the urban parkland, you may even spot some deer!
R526 Ballinacurra Rd onto St. Nissan’s Rd:
This arterial route in and out of Limerick City passes through Dooradoyle and by University Hospital Limerick. The road has decent cycle infrastructure, with lanes in both directions - though only a shared bus lane in some sections - so it is understandable that many commuters from the south side of Limerick will travel to work in this way.
Shannon Towpath, from Limerick City Centre towards University of Limerick:
A clear pattern in our data showed this was a well-worn route between the city centre and University of Limerick. Although the pathway beside the River Shannon is not perfect for cyclists, having mainly a gravel surface and with a high number of pedestrians, it is interesting to observe it is often used nevertheless - perhaps by students who may live in accommodation in the city centre.
Killahora, onto Johnstown Close, onto Island Corporate Park - into Cork from the east:
New infrastructure has recently been completed along this route, which runs parallel to the N25 main road into Cork City. With an entirely separate pathway for cyclists travelling into the city from Cobh, Middleton and Carrigtwohill, it is easy to see why this road is becoming more popular - and stands out as a Cork commuter route.
R614 into Cork from the north:
R614 is a quiet country road into the north east of Cork City, as such it stands apart from most of the other commuter routes identified in the data visualisations. It is perhaps the route of choice for cyclists coming from small villages, such as White’s Cross or Upper Glanmire. Although lacking cycle infrastructure, this route offers some picturesque rural landscapes to ride through.
R618 into Cork from the west:
This road runs concurrent with the River Lee, bypassing Ballincollig on the perimeter of Cork City. Passing along the route, there is a transition from countryside to suburban landscape as commuters head to the city from the likes of Dripsey, Magoola and Inishcarra. No specific cycle infrastructure is present on this route, although again, no complaints can be made in regards to the scenery on offer!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of some of Ireland’s most popular commuter routes - be sure to let us know if you cycle on any of these routes on your commute! Check out our 'Find a Route' section for more routes around Ireland.
We will have more data insight member blogs coming throughout the year, so make sure to get involved by anonymously contributing your ride stats using the free See.Sense App. You need to own a See.Sense light to contribute, however Cycling Ireland Membership offers an exclusive 30% discount code off all See.Sense award-winning reactive bike lights - check your membership newsletter to find your unique code.
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