Statistical press release: Travel Survey for Northern Ireland In-depth Report 2016-2018 published

Date published: 13 February 2020

The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland (TSNI) In-depth Report, containing statistics for 2016-2018, is now available.

Publication of Travel Survey for Northern Ireland 2012-2014 headline report

The publication is produced by the Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch (ASRB) of the Department for Infrastructure and contains information on a variety of travel modes including walking, cycling, public transport, cars, a variety of journey purposes including travelling to work and shopping and key tables by urban–rural. 

The publication is available on the ASRB website at:

The key points for 2016-2018 are:

  • Each person travelled, on average, 5,868 miles per year during 2016-2018 - around the same as 10 years ago (6,032 miles per person per year in 2006-2008).
  • On average, there were 903 journeys made per person per year over the period 2016-2018 - a decrease from 2006-2008 (926 journeys per person per year).
  • In 2016-18, the average time each person spent travelling was 304 hours per year - around the same as in 2006-2008 (306 hours per person per year).
  • On average, people living in urban areas made around the same number of journeys each year as people living in rural areas (urban: 908; rural: 894).  However, rural residents travelled further per year (urban: 4,813 miles; rural: 7,500 miles) and spent more time travelling per year (urban: 298 hours; rural: 312 hours) than urban residents.
  • In 2016-2018, 70% of all journeys were made by car, 19% by walking, 5% by public transport (Ulsterbus, Metro, Other Bus, Northern Ireland Railways, Black Taxi) and 1% by cycling.  Walking has increased from 17% in 2006-2008 to 19% of all journeys in 2016-2018.  There has been no real change from 10 years ago for the other travel modes.
  • Nearly one sixth (16%) of all journeys were less than one mile long.  Just under two thirds (66%) of these short journeys were on foot and 31% were by car.  The car was the dominant mode of transport (77%) for all journeys one mile or over.
  • In 2016-2018, 29% of all journeys were made for leisure and other purposes (visiting friends, entertainment, social activities, sports activities, holiday, day trips, just walking, other), 20% for commuting and business and 17% for shopping.  Shopping has decreased from 21% in 2006-2008 to 17% of all journeys in 2016-2018.  Leisure and other has increased from 26% in 2006-2008 to 29% of all journeys in 2016-2018.
  • Just under two thirds (66%) of all respondents took a walk lasting at least 20 minutes once a week or more.
  • One in ten (10%) of all respondents in 2016-2018 cycled once a week or more.
  • Just under one sixth (16%) of all respondents travelled on a bus once a week or more.  Around 1 in 30 (3%) of all respondents travelled on a train once a week or more.

Notes to editors: 

1.  Background to TSNI 2016-2018 In-depth 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.  Detailed user information, definitions and guidance are included in the report.

TSNI reports are published annually and the earliest data available are for the 1999-2001 period.  This is the second of the two reports to be published covering the 2016-2018 reporting period.  A headline report (containing key figures) was published in July 2019.  This in-depth report contains more detailed analysis on journeys taken by a representative sample of the population over the time period 2016-2018 (including breakdowns by age and gender) and more trend comparisons with earlier years. 

This report has been completely redesigned for this edition to make it more user-friendly and accessible, with information reorganised into themed sections so users can easily identify the data they are most interested in.

2. Official statistics

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:

3. Additional information

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,
Town Parks

4. For media queries please contact the DfI Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email

5. For media follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure 

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