The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland Headline Report 2020 has been published today

Date published: 10 March 2022

The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland (TSNI) headline report, containing statistics for 2020, 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 journeys taken by mode of travel and purpose of journey. The publication is available on the Travel Survey for Northern Ireland website.

Key Points

The key points for 2020 are:

Overall results

  • In 2020, each person travelled, on average, 4,550 miles (approximately 12.5 miles per day).
  • On average, 826 journeys were made per person in 2020 (just over 2 journeys per day).
  • The average journey length was 5.5 miles during 2020.

Main mode of travel

  • On average, 541 car journeys were taken per person in 2020.  This equates to just under two thirds (65%) of all journeys made.
  • There were 227 walking journeys per person in 2020, which represents over one quarter (27%) of all journeys made.
  • In 2020, 27 public transport journeys were made per person.  This equates to 3% of all journeys made.
  • There was an average of 16 cycling journeys per person in 2020, 2% of all journeys made.

Purpose of journeys

  • There were 355 leisure and other journeys taken per person in 2020 (visiting friends at private home/elsewhere, entertainment/social activities, sports, holiday/day trip, other including just walk, undefined purpose).  This represents over two-fifths (43%) of all journeys made.
  • Each person made, on average, 146 shopping journeys during 2020, which represents almost one-fifth (18%) of all journeys made.
  • On average, 132 commuting and business journeys were taken per person in 2020. This equates to 16% of all journeys made.
  • There were 96 education and escort education journeys made per person in 2020 (e.g. a schoolchild going to school, a student going to college/university, a parent taking a child to school).  This accounted for 12% of all journeys made.
  • In 2020, 61 personal business journeys (for services such as bank, doctor or library) were taken per person, 7% of all journeys made.

Journeys made by walking, cycling or public transport

  • In 2020, one-third (33%) of all journeys were taken by walking, cycling or public transport.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Background to TSNI 2020 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 2020 in-depth report is planned for publication in Summer 2022.
  1. ​​​​​​​Changes to the survey in 2020

  • In March 2020, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, face to face interviewing for the 2020 TSNI was suspended.  In April 2020, data collection for the 2020 survey resumed and moved to telephone mode with a reduction in the number of questions.
  • Due to the significant changes to the survey methodology, the 2020 survey estimates are reported as a single year instead of the usual three years combined and the results are not directly comparable to those from previous years.  The commentary contained in the report is therefore focussed on the findings for 2020.  Furthermore, the smaller achieved sample will limit the analysis that can be carried out and the scope of the next TSNI publication, the In-depth Report, will be reduced from previous years.
  1. ​​​​​​​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.
  1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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

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