Road traffic is almost back to pre-pandemic levels while passenger numbers on bus, rail and trams are at half their previous volume on some services. That’s the opposite to the trend needed if transport emissions are to fall and climate action targets are to be achieved.

Transport operators are reassuring the public that they are continuing with enhanced cleaning and implementing mask-wearing policies. But they believe many people remain nervous about sharing confined spaces and where they have access to a car, are opting to use it instead.

Rail services have seen some of the biggest fall-off in passenger numbers, despite the reopening of college campuses last month and the lifting of almost all remaining pandemic restrictions last week.

Irish Rail said overall numbers were back to 60pc of pre-Covid levels but on the Dart and commuter services, the figure is just 50pc.

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