The number of cyclists commuting in Dublin has fallen for the first time in nearly ten years with cycling groups blaming lack of investment to improve safety as the cause.

However, the National Transport Authority has pointed out that the latest canal cordon count is showing record numbers using public transport with use of private cars falling for the tenth year in a row.

The figures are compiled from the annual count of commuter traffic crossing over Dublin’s canals which is carried out each November.

The figures show that again last year over half of commuters just under 53% were using public transport.

In total 70% of the 213,920 people recorded coming into the city centre  used sustainable modes such as public transport, cycling and walking.

That is up from 59%, in 2010.

However, there was a drop of 2% in the number of cyclists - the first since 2010.

In all 12,227 cyclists crossed the cordon in the morning rush hour - still up 153% since 2006.

The number of pedestrians crossing the canal also decreased - by 4% last year.

The number of private cars continued to fall and are down 17% since a peak of 59,000 vehicles in 2008.

 Luas passenger numbers were up 15% last year with the opening of the Cross City line. 

NTA Chief Executive Officer Anne Graham said: "The growing gap between the numbers using public transport and the private car means that things are moving in the right direction".