Motor Industry News
Almost half (47%) of UK drivers could not substitute public transport for any of their car's journeys. 3 million wouldn't give up their car - no matter what the cost. 4.5 million parents take their kids to school by car at least once or twice a week. Less than one in ten 'school-run mums and dads' say there is a public transport alternative. swiftcover.com, the UK's first and only 100% online insurer, today, publishes The Transport Map of the UK - produced by cebr.
The report gives one of the most detailed pictures yet on how we get around, the state of public transport infrastructure and what it would take to make us use our cars less. The key conclusion shows almost 15 million people in the UK say their car is essential for every journey they make; that there simply isn't a public transport alternative even for short journeys like nipping to the shops in the local town. A small share of people surveyed reported that they could use public transport for some journeys that they currently make by car.
At best, just under a quarter report that car journeys - for activities such as shopping and short trips for leisure - could be replaced by public transport, walking or cycling. These people typically live in city centres e.g. London, Manchester and Newcastle where public transport provision is more accessible. For the same reason the number of people driving to work in these areas is also lower - by up to a third. Of course, just because public transport is available, this doesn't mean Britain's motorists will use it.
Despite 53% of drivers claiming that some journeys they make could be replaced by public transport, a fifth of these people would not give up their car for anything ? regardless even of a stinging rise in costs, such as petrol prices, road tax or congestion charges. So one in two has no suitable alternatives and cannot use public transport - and of the rest - one in five simply will not give up the car.
The report also reveals that 4.5 million parents take their children to school at least once or twice a week - with less than 10% saying they could use public transport for this journey even if they wanted to. This is despite the fact that the average journey length for the school run is less than 4 miles.
Andrew Blowers, Chief Executive Officer of swiftcover.com comments: "We were amazed by these findings - it seems to be that many millions of the nation's motorists believe they have no alternative to their cars. It is especially surprising that less than one in ten parents believe they could use public transport to get their kids to school. Either the alternative doesn't exist or local authorities need to do more to promote the alternatives - because clearly the nation does not see any other option than jumping in the car."
"If we are to lower the amount of car use in this country this report suggests that additional taxes on the motorist - such as congestion charges and petrol duty - will not substantially alter the nation's habits. We remain totally attached to our cars."