New research out this week finds that one fifth of people in the UK would leave their cars at home, which supports the conclusion’s of the RAC Foundation’s original Car Dependency Report (1995). Our original report found that 20% of people could switch from the car. Twelve years on and the situation seems very much the same, which begs the question…is it possible to move beyond an 80% car dependent population? What has or has not happened over the past 12 years in transport policy terms, which still makes us wedded to our cars ?
Recent survey findings come from Autocar and Trueform. Autocar found that 20% of drivers would consider using public transport. Those in London were most likely to consider public transport, whereas those in the North of the UK are less likely to do so. Young drivers aged 17-24 were most likely to give up their cars. 30% of people said they could see a time where they would not own cars and would use public transport.
Trueform’s survey (Reported on What Car?) found that 21% of drivers would give up their car and use public transport if road-user charging schemes were introduced. Widespread opposition to road-user charging was also noted (only 17% in favour). Drivers in the East, the Southwest and Wales were least likely to support plans.
These surveys once again demonstrate the extent to which we rely on our cars to go about our daily business. It is possible for a level of car replacement to take place, on approximately 20% of all journeys and some people can see ‘life without a car’, but for the vast majority the car will continue to play an important role and as a result opposition to road-user charging is growing.