Publication of Travel Survey for Northern Ireland 2014-2016 headline report

Date published: 06 July 2017

The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland (TSNI) headline report, containing statistics for 2014-2016, is now available. The publication contains information on journeys taken by Northern Ireland residents by mode of travel and purpose of journey.

The overall key points for 2014-2016 are:

  • Over the time period 2014-2016, each person in Northern Ireland travelled on average 5,704 miles per year (approximately 16 miles travelled per person per day), similar to 2013-2015 (5,827 miles).
  • On average, there were 897 journeys made per person per year over the period 2014-2016 (more than 2 journeys per person per day). There was no real difference when compared to 2013-2015 (901 journeys per person per year).
  • The average journey length for the period 2014-2016 was 6.4 miles, around the same as 2013-2015 (6.5 miles)

Mode of travel used for journeys:

  • On average, 637 car journeys were taken per person per year in 2014-2016.  This equates to 71% of all journeys made, around the same as previous years (back to 2011-2013).
  • There were 163 walking journeys per person per year in 2014-2016. This represents 18% of all journeys made, similar to previous years (back to 2011-2013).
  • In 2014-2016, 43 public transport journeys were made per person per year.  This equates to 5% of all journeys made, around the same as recent years (back to 2011-2013).
  • During 2014-2016, the longest journey length was for train journeys, averaging 20.2 miles.  In contrast, the shortest journeys were walks which were 1.0 mile on average.

Purpose of journeys:

  • In 2014-2016, 24% of all journeys were made for leisure purposes (visiting friends at private home/elsewhere, entertainment/social activities, sports, holiday/day trip), 17% for shopping, 15% for commuting and 12% for personal business (for services such as bank, doctor or library).  The proportion of shopping journeys has decreased from 19% in 2011-2013 to 17% in 2014-2016.  All other results are in line with those of recent years (back to 2011-2013).
  • In terms of miles travelled, 31% of the total distance travelled was for leisure purposes (see definition above), 21% for commuting, 12% for shopping and 11% for personal business.  These results are similar to recent years (back to 2011-2013).

Journeys to and from school:

  • In 2014-2016, the most commonly used main method of travel to or from school for the 4-11 age group was car, van or taxi (55%), followed by walking or cycling (34%) and then bus (11%).
  • In 2014-2016, the most commonly used main methods of travel to or from school for the 12-18 age group were bus (43%) and car, van or taxi (39%), followed by walking or cycling (16%).

Journeys made by walking, cycling or public transport:

  • Indicator 25 of the draft Programme for Government (PfG) framework is the proportion of all journeys which are made by walking, cycling or public transport.  This is monitored using Travel Survey for Northern Ireland data for single years.  In 2016, nearly one quarter (24%) of all journeys were taken by walking, cycling or public transport.  There has been no real change comparing 2016 to the baseline year (25% in 2015).
  • The publication is produced by the Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch (ASRB) of the Department for Infrastructure and is available on the ASRB website at:

Notes to editors: 

  1. Background to TSNI 2014-2016 Headline Report:
    The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland (TSNI) is a household survey and is the only source of information on how, over the region as a whole, people use different forms of transport to meet their travel needs as individuals. Only journeys within Northern Ireland are included.
  2. TSNI reports are published annually and the earliest data available are for the 1999-2001 period. Two reports, a headline report and an in-depth report, are published. The headline report contains key figures on journeys taken by a representative sample of the Northern Ireland population over the time period 2014-2016 and includes some trend comparisons back to 2011-2013. This report will be followed by the publication of an in-depth report in November 2017, which will contain more detailed analysis of the 2014-2016 data from the TSNI.
  3. Official Statistics: This is a National Statistics publication and therefore follows the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.  You can find further information about the Code of Practice at:
  4. For further information please contact:

Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch,
Department for Infrastructure, 
Clarence Court, 
10-18 Adelaide Street, 
Belfast BT2 8GB  
  1. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email: Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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