Management & Operations

Fewer People Using Buses, Trains in England, Says Royal Automobile Club

Posted on March 6, 2000

Only one in four people would use their cars less if public transport was better, says a study released by the Royal Automobile Club of the United Kingdom. The new study contradicts several reports from the British Government’s Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions showing urban and intercity bus and rail transport booming. RAC's Report on Motoring 2000 found that the average commuter journey takes three times longer using the bus or train and costs about $300 less per year. "Drivers are keenly aware of the significant economic benefits in time and cost savings that they achieve by using their cars," RAC Managing Director Graeme Potts told London's Daily Mail. "Car use is growing and motorists are still reluctant to use public transport." While the report found that 4% take the bus to work and 5% take the train to work, the overall percentage of motorists who use neither form of transportation has grown in the past 12 years. The number of people not using buses has grown from 65% in 1988 to 81% today. Train usage has also decreased, with 58% not using trains in 1988 and 75% not using them today. At the same time, 14% agree that road taxes should be spent on improving public transport, though many respondents warned that if the government tries to increase the use of public transportation by raising fuel prices, it will lose the votes of a significant amount of motorists. Those in the North (36%) and Scotland (37%) are the most resistant to switching from their cars if public transport were improved. Motorists in the U.K. make 33 billion car trips per year, a number that is set to rise by 30% over the next 20 years, says the report.

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