According to a recent survey from the RAC, the UK is more dependent on cars than ever before. The report covered the answers of 1800 drivers, with ⅓ saying they were more reliant on their vehicle compared to 12 months ago. This could mean 13.2 million people would be unable to go about their lives without the aid of their cars.
The research came as part of the RAC’s annual Report on Motoring. This has seen a drop in the dependence on cars since the previous record high of 2012. 75% of people said they would find it hard to get used to a life without a car. 61% said their car was important for transporting people and shopping, while half said they needed their motor for visiting family and friends. Around 29% pointed out a car was integral for getting around their area.
The survey highlighted a trend of there being dissatisfaction with public transport. 59% of respondents said they would use their cars less if public transport links were better. Of those drivers, 45% admitted bus and train fares were too high and 42% said services weren’t regular enough. 40% bemoaned the fact that train stations and bus stops were too far from their houses or workplaces.
RAC Chief Engineer, David Bizley, thought the dependence on cars was concerning. “At a time when there is so much effort being put into tackling air quality issues and congestion, it is alarming to see that dependency on the car is actually the highest we have ever seen. While there is much talk about improving public transport, the reality is very different. Buses and trains are not meeting public expectations and in some cases have actually gone backwards.”
“Our research clearly shows many people don’t think public transport offers a viable alternative to the car, but there is a definite willingness among motorists to use public transport more if only it were better. Consequently, people end up driving because they feel public transport is either too expensive, non-existent or just doesn’t go where or when they need it to.”
“We need greater investment in public transport so drivers have an alternative to sitting in traffic and contributing to poor air quality and congestion. The key to this must surely be making public transport as attractive as possible by ensuring it is reliable, frequent, comfortable and affordable.”