The number of cars on the roads today has increased dramatically with the return of inter-county travel under the latest easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
People are once again to permitted to leave their county for non-essential journeys, coinciding with the return of personal services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, and the phased reopening of non-essential retail, allowing click and collect services and shopping by appointment to resume.
According to data from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), traffic volumes increased around the country this morning.
Comparing this morning's levels to those noted on Monday, April 26th (as last Monday was a bank holiday which may have impacted traffic levels), large increases in the number of cars travelling were evident on major roads around the country.
A traffic marker on the M11 at Fassaroe, Co Wicklow the number of cars on the road was over 13 per cent higher between 8am and 12pm this morning compared to April 26th, with an additional 1,609 cars travelling the route.
Meanwhile, on the M50 between Junction 12 Firhouse and Junction 13 Dundrum, there was almost a 7 per cent increase during the same four-hour window compared to two weeks ago.
In the west, car traffic on the N18 - the main route connecting Galway to Cork, passing through Clare and Limerick - was much busier than the last Monday in April, with volumes jumping by almost 11 per cent in the early hours of today.
Traffic levels on other national roads also noted increases, with the number of cars using the N20 between Buttevant and Charleville in Co Cork rising by 7 per cent.