IT’S a statistic that will surprise few, but a government survey has confirmed the people of Fermanagh are more reliant on their cars than those anywhere else in the North, with only four percent of locals using public transport regularly.
The ‘Travel Survey for Northern Ireland In-depth Report’, which was recently published by the Department of Infrastructure, looked at the years 2017-2019, meaning the figures pre-date the unusual circumstances of the Covid pandemic.
The survey found that in Fermanagh and Omagh the car was the main mode of transport for 80 percent of people, with 10 percent of people stating the would walk the majority of the time, four percent stating they relied on public transport, and five percent citing an ‘other’ for of public transport.
In another unsurprising find, the people of Belfast were the least reliant on cars, with just 52 percent stating it was their main form of transport.
Across the North, and average of 71 percent of people stated they used a car as their main mode of transport, with 25 percent relying on walking, cycling, or public transport.
Again unsurprisingly, people here have to travel longer and further than the average across the North, with local people travelling an average of 7,097 miles a year over and average of 777 journeys, while across the North the average was 6,130 miles over an average of 906 journeys.
Over all, people across the North are now walking for longer than in previous years, with the average person walking 169 miles per year, making an average of 167 walking journeys, and spending an overall of 54 hours walking per year. This includes walking to work or school.
When asked what would encourage them to walk more, 40 percent said “better weather”, while 16 percent said “better lighting on footpaths at night”, and another 16 percent stating “the time of year.” A further 14 percent said they already walk as much as they can, while eight percent said nothing would encourage them to walk more.
When asked what made them feel unsafe while walking, 37 percent stating “no footpath”, 28 percent said “heavy traffic”, 27 percent said “traffic travelling above the speed limit”, 27 percent stating “motorists driving without consideration of pedestrians,” 23 percent stating the footpath was not well lit, 22 percent citing bad weather, and 22 percent stating “dog fouling on footpaths.”
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition