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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Urban studies (Planning and development)

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  1. . Report on the collaboration between DIT Spatial Planning students and staff and the Irish Environmental Network and Dublin Cycling Campaign to research shopper travel behaviour in Dublin City Centre. This report was compiled by: David O’Connor, Lecturer, DIT; James Nix, Coordinator for Transport and Planning Policy, Irish Environmental Network; Simon Bradshaw, DIT Spatial Planning Graduate; Enda Shiel, DIT Spatial Planning Graduate. This paper has also been published in the Irish Transport Research Network 2011 conference proceedings.


Traders on Dublin’s two main shopping streets considerably over-estimate spending by shoppers travelling by car and Luas while significantly undervaluing the spend of bus passengers and pedestrians. A study interviewed 1,009 shoppers on Grafton and Henry streets seeking to identify differences (if any) between perceived and actual spending levels by travel mode. Bus carried 35% of shoppers to Grafton St and 49% to Henry St; this compares with traders’ perceptions of 31% and 40% respectively. Measured in value terms, bus proved the most lucrative mode to both streets, delivering 38% of the total spend on both streets, when outliers are excluded. Pedestrian travel was similarly under-valued. Traders believed that 11% would walk to shop on Grafton St while on Henry St traders estimated that 6% of their customers came on foot. The actual figures are 20% and 19%, according to the survey. Car transport was overvalued by traders. On Grafton St traders perceived that car would account for 13% of customers whereas in reality car-borne shoppers made up 10%. Traders on Henry St believed car would carry 19% of shoppers but in fact only 9% came by car. The situation is similar for Luas: traders perceived 28% of Grafton St shoppers would arrive by tram compared to 13% in reality, and again on Henry St, traders thought Luas would carry 19% but it served just 10%. Bus priority and pedestrian enhancement may therefore warrant greater investment. The imbalance in cycling mode share between Grafton Street and Henry Street should also be investigated further.

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