The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland headline report 2016-2018 has been published today

Date published: 04 July 2019

The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland (TSNI) headline report, containing statistics for 2016-2018, is now available.

DRD statistics publication

The publication is produced by the Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch (ASRB) of the Department for Infrastructure and contains information on journeys taken by people living here by mode of travel and purpose of journey. The publication is available on the ASRB website at:


The key points for 2016-2018 are:


  • Over the time period 2016-2018, each person travelled on average 5,868 miles per year (approximately 16 miles travelled per person per day), similar to 2013-2015 (5,827 miles).
  • On average, there were 903 journeys made per person per year over the period 2016-2018 (just over 2 journeys per person per day), similar to 2013-2015 (901 journeys per person per year).
  • The average journey length for the period 2016-2018 was 6.5 miles, the same as 2013-2015.

Mode of travel used for journeys

  • On average, 633 car journeys were taken per person per year in 2016-2018.  This equates to 70% of all journeys made, a decrease from 72% in 2013-2015.
  • There were 169 walking journeys per person per year in 2016-2018. This represents 19% of all journeys made, similar to previous years (back to 2013-2015).
  • In 2016-2018, 47 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 2013-2015).
  • During 2016-2018, the longest journey length was for train journeys, averaging 19.4 miles.  In contrast, the shortest journeys were walks which were 0.9 miles on average.

Purpose of journeys

  • In 2016-2018, 23% of all journeys were made for leisure purposes (visiting friends at private home/elsewhere, entertainment/social activities, sports, holiday/day trip), 17% for shopping, 16% for commuting and 13% for personal business (for services such as bank, doctor or library).  This is in line with results from recent years (back to 2013-2015).
  • In terms of miles travelled, 29% of the total distance travelled was for leisure purposes (see definition above), 23% for commuting, 12% for shopping and 12% for personal business.  Over the time period 2013-2015 to 2016-2018, the proportion of distance travelled for leisure purposes has decreased from 31% to 29% and the proportion of distance travelled for commuting has increased from 21% to 23%.

Journeys to and from school

  • In 2016-2018, the most commonly used main method of travel to or from school for the 4-11 age group was car or van (61%), followed by walking (23%) and then public transport (12%).
  • In 2016-2018, the most commonly used main method of travel to or from school for the 12-18 age group was public transport (46%) followed by car or van (34%) and then walking (17%).

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 2018, just under one quarter (24%) of all journeys were taken by walking, cycling or public transport.  There has been no real change comparing 2018 to the baseline year (25% in 2015).

Notes to editors: 

Background to TSNI 2016-2018 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.  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.  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 population over the time period 2016-2018 and includes some trend comparisons back to 2013-2015. This report will be followed by the publication of an in-depth report in January 2020, which will contain more detailed analysis of the 2016-2018 data from the TSNI.

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: Statistics Authority

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

For media enquiries please contact the DfI Press Office 028 9054 0007.

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