The Northern Ireland Transport Statistics 2018-2019 statistical report has been published today

Date published: 24 October 2019

The latest edition of Northern Ireland Transport Statistics, containing statistics for 2018-2019, is now available.

Transport Statistics image 2019
Northern Ireland Transport Statistics 2018-2019

This compendium publication is produced by the Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch (ASRB) of the Department for Infrastructure and contains information on the road network, public transport and accessible transport in Northern Ireland.  The publication is available on the DfI website at:

Key points

The key points for 2018-2019 are:

Road Network

At 1 April 2019, there were 25,735 kilometres of public road in Northern Ireland.  Unclassified roads accounted for the largest proportion (61%) of all roads followed by C roads (18%), B roads (11%), A roads (9%) and Motorways (less than 1%). 

Analysis of the urban/ rural split of the road network reveals that 23% of carriageway road lengths are urban (speed limit of 40 mph or less) and 77% are rural (speed limit of more than 40 mph). 

During 2018-19, new construction and improvement accounted for 30% of the £437 million spend on our roads.  Maintenance (structural, routine and winter) accounted for 31% of the money spent, while public lighting accounted for 4%. There was an increase of 19% in expenditure on the roads when compared to 2017-18 (£367 million); this was mainly due to increased expenditure on road improvements and structural maintenance.

Public Transport

At the end of 2018-19, there were 1,093 Ulsterbuses, 286 Metro buses and 30 Gliders on the roads which were, on average, 10.1 years, 8.3 years and 0.8 years old respectively.

During 2018-19, there were a total of 84.5 million bus and rail passenger journeys; 68.7 million bus passenger journeys (Ulsterbus, Metro and Glider), an increase of 4% from 2017-18 (66.1 million), and 15.8 million rail passenger journeys, an increase of 6% from 2017-18 (15.0 million).

Of the 68.7 million bus passenger journeys during 2018-19, 38.7 million were on Ulsterbus, an increase of 2% from 2017-18 (38.1 million) and 26.2 million were on Metro, a decrease of 6% since 2017-18 (28.0 million).  There were also 3.7 million passenger journeys on Glider services since they were introduced on 3 September 2018 up to 31 March 2019.

Transport and Disability

At 31 March 2019, 324,808 SmartPasses were held by older people (60+ SmartPass and Senior (65+) SmartPass).  Comparing this to the 2018 mid-year population estimate of those persons aged 60 and over (410,974 persons), there was an approximately 79% uptake of these SmartPasses.

At 31 March 2019, 1,303 buses and coaches were used as Public Service Vehicles in Northern Ireland, an increase of 5% from 31 March 2018 (1,246).  Of the 1,303 buses and coaches, 1,143 (88%) were low-floor wheelchair accessible buses and 130 (10%) were wheelchair accessible coaches. 

At 31 March 2019, 143 railway carriages were used as Public Service Vehicles in Northern Ireland; this was equivalent to the figure at 31 March 2015.  Of the 143 railway carriages used as Public Service Vehicles, all (100%) were wheelchair accessible.

In 2015-2017, one sixth (17%) of persons aged 16 and over, who responded to the Travel Survey for Northern Ireland (TSNI), reported having a mobility difficulty. On average those with a mobility difficulty made 596 journeys per year in 2015-2017, 39% less than those without a mobility difficulty (978 journeys per year). 

Notes to editors: 

Northern Ireland Transport Statistics is an annual compendium publication and contains a variety of transport information.  The management information and statistics are collated from DfI, DfI Roads and Translink.

This is a National Statistics publication and therefore follows the Code of Practice for Statistics.  You can find further information about the Code of Practice at:

For more information relating to this publication, including alternative formats, please contact: Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch, Room 4.13c, Clarence Court, 10 - 18 Adelaide Street, BELFAST, BT2 8GB .

All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email:  Out of hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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