Vehicles cross the border 45 million times each year

Posted By: September 28, 2018

Bimpe Archer and Marie Louise McConville. Irish News. Belfast. Friday, September 28, 2018

There are more than 45 million vehicle crossings between Northern Ireland and the Republic each year, new figures reveal.

A statistical report released last night shows the scale of the disruption which would be caused by a ‘hard border’ in the wake of Brexit.

The figures, released by the Department for the Economy’s Analytical Services Division, only count the vehicles at 15 of the border’s 208 recognised crossing points.

The vast majority of journeys were taken by car, with almost 36 million crossings in personal motor vehicles between July 2017 and last month.

Freight traffic – likely to be a key focus of border inspection should the north exit the customs union and single market in a ‘hard Brexit’ – makes up more than eight million journeys.

The data collected by statisticians is from the Transport Infrastructure Ireland traffic counters located on the National Road Network of


It relates to just 15 of the border locations which provide passage between the two jurisdictions. Officials stressed that it should be regarded as “subset of all border crossings and would not present full coverage of all vehicle border crossings”.

Ireland has 208 border crossings, according to analysis carried out earlier this year – the first officially agreed count since the island was partitioned.

SDLP Brexit spokeswoman Claire Hanna said the report underlined the “absolute impossibility of a border on this island”.

“The fundamentals that the SDLP have stated time and again have not changed, that if any part of this island is out of the single market, having different products, standards and regulations, and out of the customs union, having different trade rules and tariffs, then there has to be a border somewhere,” she said.

Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said: “The prospect of border checks would spell disaster for trade, for the economy, for students and for workers across the island of Ireland. This would wreak havoc on people’s lives.”