Cars 'still dominate commute to work'

 
Cars on a motorway during the evening Seven out of 10 people in rural areas get to work by car rather than the train or bus, the RAC claimed

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The vast majority of people in England and Wales still commute to work by car, according to a new report.

The RAC Foundation report crunched the numbers from the last census in 2011 and the National Travel Survey.

It said six in 10 commuters either drive or grab a lift in a car or a van - 16.7 million people - which rises to more than seven in 10 when you single out rural areas.

The second most popular journey is by foot, with almost 2.9 million walking.

Catching the bus or coach is third, followed by the train, and then the underground, tram, or metro. Cycling sits below that, with 762,334 people biking to the office.

"The astonishing thing is the level of car reliance amongst urban workers, not just those who live in rural areas," said Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation.

There are a few little shocks buried inside this report though, which make for fascinating reading.

People on bikes Only about 4% of people use bikes to get to work

London, for example, has a congestion charge, terrible parking and pretty good public transport, but the car remains the most popular way to commute.

Nearly a third of workers rely on a car or van to get in. The tube does come in a close second, with more than fifth of workers using the underground. Then comes the bus and the train, followed by walking, and cycling (around 4% get on their bike).

More than twice as many people walk than cycle.

There's a nice breakdown of the local authority areas where most people drive to work too. And a word of advice: if you sell cars for a living, open a showroom in Wales, where nearly three-quarters of workers use a car or van to commute. Blaenau Gwent tops the charts, with more than eight in every 10 workers in the area driving in.

The areas with the fewest number of people driving to the office are all in London - the boroughs of City of London, Islington, Westminster and Camden.

A motorway in the South West of England The cost of motoring is still on the up, says the RAC Foundation

Being the RAC Foundation, there is a heavy emphasis on the cost of motoring.

It highlights just how expensive driving has become, with the price of fuel and oil going up twice as fast as the cost of living over the past decade. It says that 800,000 of the poorest car-owning households spend more than a quarter of their disposable income on buying and running a car.

"The coalition government has rightly prioritised efforts to get the nation working, but it has to remember how the nation actually travels to work," Mr Glaister said.

"People are still driving despite a decade in which the cost of running a car has outstripped wage inflation. Transport poverty is a real threat to the economy. There would be uproar if domestic heating was taxed at 60%, so why is it acceptable for road fuel to attract such high taxation?"

So the message from all this then?

Despite all the talk of HS2 high-speed trains and bikes and working from home, most people drive to work. And that's not going to change any time soon.

 

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  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 10.

    Given that any towns are barren of employment and reliable, affordable public transport, this is not a suprise. I live in Ipswich..NO jobs. I work in Colchester. £10 daily train fare. That's £200 a month to struggle on filthy, ancient trains that MAY run on time. No brainer really. I'd like to take the train, but it would have to be £50 a month before I would even consider it.

  • rate this
    +43

    Comment number 9.

    Of course most people commute by car, as the alternative is to use privately owned 'public' transport that is run for the benefit of the company's owners and not for the public.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 8.

    Some of us do not have one single place of work and the distances/locations of sites we have to travel to mean a car is pretty much essential. I wish I had a job where I could go to one place of work and it was within walking distance or a simple public transport journey from my house!

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 7.

    Sold my car...can't afford to run it.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 6.

    I've got a 5 mile, 20-ish minute drive costing about £1 in petrol (all the other car costs still exist whether you use the car or not) or a 10 mile, 2 bus (in then out of town) journey taking at least an hour and costing £1.70 each way. Plus I can be called to 2 other sites at a few mins notice so there's no real alternative.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 5.

    Of course people commute by car usually its more time efficient and can be cheaper than public transport. My journey is 13 miles takes 30 mins by car, by buses are only every hour & it takes 1hr20 and the bus home is usually late so I miss my connection (last bus home) plus it costs £10 more per week than petrol (ofc there is car maintenance to factor in but public transport is not cheap!)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 4.

    Well, duh. It's dangerous to go outside without a car - there are cars everywhere!

  • rate this
    +37

    Comment number 3.

    Of course the car is still the preffered mode of transport. It most cases it's cheaper than the ridiculously expensive public transport. And have you tried commuting with the plebs? Heaven forbid!

  • rate this
    +21

    Comment number 2.

    Of course they do! Theres very little alternative outside London. Its a pity some of those making decisions the affect ALL of ust dont come out of the M25 ring and try our commute - thye would soon see how much we need our cars

  • rate this
    +15

    Comment number 1.

    Yes I do. Cheaper, easier, safer....

 

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