Text Size

Current Size: 100%

Save our buses

Fair Fares Now

Roads to Nowhere

Car use in decline, so why build more roads?

27 July 2017

Campaign for Better Transport responds today to the publication of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) latest National Travel Survey. 

The National Travel Survey is a household survey of personal travel by residents of England travelling within Great Britain

Bridget Fox, Sustainable Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“The National Travel Survey shows that a growing population and increased economic activity does not depend on private car use. Britain is on the move - but not always on four wheels. As car use falls, the Government continues to plough on with a huge £23 billion road building programme which should be reassessed against this trend. Rather than throwing money at new roads the Government could better spend it on maintaining existing infrastructure, including a pothole repair backlog coming in at over £10bn.

“The Government should also focus on helping all sections of society get around more easily. This means investing in better public transport, walking and cycling routes, planning new development so fewer people need to drive in the first place and getting more freight traffic off our roads and onto rail.” 

Ends

For further information please contact:

Richard Watkins, Press Officer, at Campaign for Better Transport on 020 7566 6494 / 07984 773468 or richard.watkins@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to editors

  • The results of the 2016 National Travel Survey was published by the Department for Transport on 27 July 2017.
  • Key statistics from the 2016 National Travel Survey include:
    • Overall number of trips, distance travelled and time spent travelling continue to fall.
    • 62 per cent  of trips were made by car, either as a driver or passenger. Since the mid-2000s, most of the fall in total trips has been due to fewer car trips.
    • The average annual mileage of a household car was 7,800 miles in 2016 a fall from 9,200 in 2002.
    • Percentage of households with a car is still on the up. Single-car households has small spike this year, with a corresponding fall in no-car households.
    • Lowest income households are least likely to own a car.
    • 59 per cent of people travel by train during the course of a year.
    • Nearly half of train journeys are commuting.
    • Numbers and distance of journeys by bus are in long term decline, but falls in the last year have been precipitous - particularly in London.​
  • 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)