The RAC says the findings of a survey – which suggest more than a third of UK drivers are more dependent on their car than 12 months ago – present a stark reminder of the reality for many people.
The Government is keen for drivers to use their cars less frequently to improve air quality, and earlier this month set out a new multi-billion pound vision to make everyday journeys ‘easier, greener and more convenient’.
However, the findings of the RAC survey suggest 35% of UK drivers – the equivalent of 14.7m people – are more dependent on their car than this time last year.
The top reasons provided by drivers included a greater need to transport family members (28%), family and friends moving further away (24%) and a reduction in the provision or quality of public transport (25%).
More than a half (57%) said they would be willing to use their cars less if the quality of public transport was better.
Rod Dennis, the RAC’s data insight spokesperson, said: “The ongoing challenge for national and local government is to deliver credible alternatives to the car.
“Connecting large residential areas with popular locations for work would surely be a good starting point – giving drivers the opportunity to swap sitting in daily traffic jams for a fast, frequent alternative.
“Greater investment in walking and cycling infrastructure could also go a long way to encouraging drivers to use their cars less.”
The RAC’s findings also show motorists living in London are more likely to use alternatives to their cars than those elsewhere in the UK.
In the Capital, 38% of weekly journeys are made either by public transport, walking or cycling, compared with a national average of just 24%.
For those who live in villages or other rural areas, cars typically account for 85% of all journeys, with just 15% currently represented by public transport, cycling or walking.