16 March 2012

British social attitudes towards transport

British social attitudes towards transport

The results from the Attitudes towards Transport survey conducted in 2011 have been released. This report presents statistics on attitudes towards transport in Great Britain during 2011 and discusses trend changes since 2010. It covers attitudes towards road use, congestion and sustainable travel among other topics. The report raises a number of points which relate to physical activity. 

Willingness to use sustainable travel alternatives for short car journeys 

  • 42% of people agreed that they could just as easily walk many of the journeys of less than two miles they now travel by car; 38% agreed they could just as easily cycle (if they had a bike) and a third said they could just as easily catch the bus. 


  • 31% of respondents were cyclists, that is, they had access to a bicycle and had cycled in the last 12 months. However, 45% of cyclists agreed that it was too dangerous for them to cycle on the roads compared to 69% of non-cyclists, whilst 58% of cyclists said that they were very or fairly confident cycling on the roads compared to 20 per cent of non-cyclists. 
  • Age and gender have a strong effect on whether individuals feel confident cycling and how dangerous they consider the roads to be. Those who drive are also slightly more confident about cycling on the roads.

Car use and the environment 

  • 58% of people agreed that people who drive cars that are better for the environment should pay less to use the roads; 55% agreed that for the sake of the environment everyone should reduce how much they use their cars; 47% agreed that there is no point them reducing their car use unless others do so, and 13% of respondents agreed that for the sake of the environment car users should pay higher taxes.

Download: British Social Attitudes survey 2011: public attitudes towards transport