Text Size

Current Size: 100%

Transport campaigners respond to new research on road and rail travel trends

8 December 2016

Campaign for Better Transport has responded to the Independent Transport Commission report "Recent trends in road and rail travel: What do they tell us?" published today, which uses National Travel Survey data to identify the pattern of road and rail travel trends in England between 1995 and 2014. The research comes on the same day that the Government publishes a new report on 2016 transport statistics.

James MacColl, Head of Campaigns at Campaign for Better Transport said:

"This research confirms that the Government's road building programme is out of touch with the reality of how people travel today. Creating ever more space for cars when individual car use is falling is a waste of time and money. Funds would be better spent improving public transport and offering people genuine alternatives to the car where congestion remains a problem. We also need continued and increased rail investment to cater for the growing rail use identified by the report, and to tackle the resulting overcrowding."


For further information please contact James MacColl. Head of Campaigns at Campaign for Better Transport, on 020 7566 6483/07984 773 468 or james.maccoll@bettertransport.org.uk 

Notes to Editors

  • Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).
  • The report by ITC can be accessed here. Its key findings are:
    • The total miles travelled by English residents peaked in 2007 before falling sharply in 2008-09, and stabilising at this lower level. However, because of population growth the per capita (individual) travel by distance is now 10 per cent lower than in the mid-2000s.
    • Each English resident is making significantly fewer trips overall in 2014 than in 1995. However, the average trip is now longer in terms of both time and distance.
    • Although the aggregate traffic level is rising, individual car driving mileage per adult has declined significantly, 1995-2014. Individual car use amongst younger people, especially men under 35, is falling fastest. At the same time there has been a significant rise in the personal car driving mileage (and licence holding) of older women over 60.
    • Rail travel per person by distance has continued to rise sharply due to a greater percentage of the population travelling by rail, rather than existing travellers making more or longer journeys.
    • The link between GDP, incomes, and personal travel appears to be weakening. Car driving per adult has declined in spite of overall motoring costs (combining vehicle purchase, fuel and insurance) remaining stagnant since 2000.
    • Per capita car use has fallen most slowly in rural areas, but has fallen most sharply in London, which has also seen the greatest rise in the use of modes other than the car.
  • The Government's new transport statistics also published today can be accessed here.