Majority of motorists open to cutting car use – report
An independent report commissioned and released by Stagecoach suggests the majority of motorists are open to using their car less.
The report, ‘Every journey makes a difference: how we can support people switch how they travel’, sets out the financial, environmental and community benefits of reduced car use and calls for co-ordinated action from government, councils and transport operators. It says councils can help motorists save up to £6,000 a year by introducing the right policy measures to help them use cars less.
Motorists are most open to reducing car usage for the school run (+34% net openness rating) or personal leisure activity (+22% net openness rating) like going to the gym. Some types of motorists were also more open to making the switch. The motorists most open to it are younger (+36% score), live in urban areas (+28%) or make shorter journeys (+21%).
Motorists (51%) want councils to take action to encourage people away from using their cars. Council decisions can lead to millions of people using their car less in favour of other modes of transport, including buses. Introducing Clean Air Zones across the country would remove over 1.3 billion miles of car journeys each week. Changes to local roads through Low Traffic Neighbourhoods would save over 900 million miles a week and deliver cost savings, carbon emissions reduction and fewer cars on our roads.
According to the report, which surveyed over 4,000 people from across Great Britain, councils can deliver the greatest change by adopting blended policies, maximising consumer savings and benefits to the environment and communities. Introducing policies that dissuade car usage and fund making public transport more affordable, accessible and convenient are more effective and secure greater local support. For example, introducing a Clean Air Zone and lower bus fares leads to over half of motorists saying they would drive much less often for work (52%) and social (53%) or leisure activities (52%).
On behalf of the Department for Transport, Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “This research from Stagecoach shows there is great appetite among drivers to use their cars less in favour of buses – the most popular form of public transport.
“That’s why we’re investing billions in buses that are more frequent, greener, and start earlier and finish later across the UK and providing residents outside London with a step change towards the brilliant transport networks they deserve.”