UK drivers attached to their cars

According to, Swiftcover published their Transport Map of Britain showing areas of motorists that would be most willing to give up their cars for public transportation. The research was based on a survey conducted jointly by Swiftcover and YouGov this year as well as a 2001 study from the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
As expected, the map shows that drivers in major cities such as London, Manchester and Newcastle are most able to live without a car while rural areas reveal the need for personal transportation. notes that the survey showed 53 percent of all U.K. drivers say that some of their trips could be done through public transportation, however, 20 percent of that segment would not give up their cars for any reason at all.

Swiftcover's Managing Director Andrew Blowers sees the results as disappointing. He says, "If we are to lower the amount of car use in this country this report suggests that additional taxes on the motorist - such as congestion charges and petrol duty - will not substantially alter the nation's habits." He briefly speculates that the problem points to either a lack of transportation alternatives or a dearth of public knowledge and adds, "We have become very attached to our cars."

I wasn't able to find the actual map or survey results online (other than the low resolution image above), so I'll abstain from criticizing the study. However, my initial reaction is to wonder why they didn't either limit the study to areas with decent public transportation or somehow contrast the survey of people's opinions versus the availability of transportation alternatives in their respective areas. To say that half of the population refuses to consider alternatives to personal transport when they actually have no alternatives reveals little.


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