The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland In-depth Report 2017-2019 has been published today

Date published: 08 July 2021

The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland (TSNI) In-depth Report, containing statistics for 2017-2019, is now available.

Statistical press release

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 Travel Survey for Northern Ireland website at: Travel Survey for Northern Ireland

Key Points

The key points for 2017-2019 are:

  • Each person travelled, on average, 6,130 miles per year during 2017-2019, around the same as 10 years ago (6,001 miles per person per year in 2007-2009).
  • On average, there were 906 journeys made per person per year over the period 2017-2019, similar to 2007-2009 (913 journeys per person per year).
  • In 2017-2019, the average time each person spent travelling was 313 hours per year, around the same as in 2007-2009 (308 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: 911; rural: 898).  However, rural residents travelled further per year (urban: 5,013 miles; rural: 7,767 miles) and spent more time travelling per year (urban: 306 hours; rural: 324 hours) than urban residents.
  • In 2017-2019, 71% of all journeys were made by car, 18% by walking, 5% by public transport (Ulsterbus, Metro, Other Bus, Northern Ireland Railways, Black Taxi) and 1% by cycling, similar to 10 years ago.
  • Around one third (34%) of all journeys were less than two miles long.  Just under one half (47%) of these journeys were on foot and a similar proportion (48%) were by car.  The car was the dominant mode of transport (83%) for journeys of two miles and over.
  • In 2017-2019, 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 20% in 2007-2009 to 17% of all journeys in 2017-2019.  Leisure and other has increased from 26% in 2007-2009 to 29% of all journeys in 2017-2019.
  • Two thirds (67%) of all respondents took a walk lasting at least 20 minutes once a week or more.
  • One in ten (10%) of all respondents in 2017-2019 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: 

Background to TSNI 2017-2019 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 2017-2019 reporting period.  A headline report (containing key figures) was published in January 2021.  This in-depth report contains more detailed analysis on journeys taken by a representative sample of the population over the time period 2017-2019 (including breakdowns by age and gender) and more trend comparisons with earlier years.

Note that this report covers the 2017-2019 time period, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 on the UK Statistics Authority website.

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,
  1. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at:
  2. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  3. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure.

Share this page

Back to top