THOUSANDS of less journeys are being made on Donegal’s roads since Ireland moved to Level 5 of the Plan for Living with Covid.
Donegal moved to Level 3 on Friday, September 25 – initially for a three-week period – with pubs, restaurants and cinemas being forced to close their doors once more.
However, on Wednesday last the government moved the entire country to Level 5 restrictions which will remain in place for a period of 6 weeks.
As part of the restrictions, people are asked to stay at home. People should work from home unless providing an essential service for which their physical presence is required while they are allowed to exercise within a radius of 5 km of their home
According to a Donegal News analysis of figures from Transport Infrastructure Ireland, formerly the National Roads Authority, car journeys in Donegal reduced by more than 20 per cent on some border roads last week.
Level Five restrictions came into effect in Donegal at midnight on Wednesday, October 21 and in our analysis we looked at Tuesday’s volumes (Monday was a Bank Holiday) and compared them with the previous Tuesday, October 20.
TII maintains a traffic counter on the N13 dual carriageway at Rossbracken outside Letterkenny. It is one of eleven across Donegal.
It showed a 22% drop in traffic on Tuesday, when 13,202 trips were recorded, compared with almost 17,000 journeys (16,955) on a ‘normal’ Tuesday a week earlier (October 20).
However, that’s still more than double the daily trips on that stretch of road (6,792) recorded back on Monday, March 30 after the most stringent restrictions, including the prohibition on travelling more than 2km from one’s home, were first introduced.
The daily traffic volume on the N15 at Barnesmore Gap, between Ballybofey and Donegal Town
have dropped by more than 20 percent since the restrictions on travel came into effect.
On Tuesday last, 4,765 trips were recorded – a drop of 1,210 on the data recorded on Tuesday, October 20, before Level 5 of Covid-19 lockdown measures were introduced..
The traffic counter on the N13 at Skeoge near Bridgend, the only such automated system in Inishowen, is also showing reduced levels of activity. Again, it showed that the volume of traffic (4,394) on the road last Tuesday was down 21 per cent compared to Tuesday, October 20, when 5,586 vehicles were counted in a twenty-four hour period.
The volume of traffic on the N14 Lifford to Letterkenny road at Drumbuoy is down 8.5 per cent (19.35). More than eight and a half thousand vehicles (8,592) used that road on the Tuesday before the latest restrictions compared with just 7,851 on Tuesday,
The figures were more pronounced on the N3 between Ballyshannon and Belleek as volumes fell to just 2,185 on Tuesday, compared to 2,805 the previous Tuesday, a drop of 22 percent.
There was an 18 per cent reduction on the volume of traffic on the N15 Bundoran to Sligo road at Tullaghan with 4,448 journeys recorded last Tuesday compared with 5,453 a week earlier.