Cars Still Dominate the Commute into Work


A new report has shown that the vast majority of people in England and Wales still choose to drive to work.

The RAC Foundation report said that six in ten people that commute to work either drive or get a lift in a car or van. This equates to 16.7 million people. When excluding rural areas, this figure rises to over seven in ten people choosing to commute via car.

The second most popular method of getting to work is by foot, with almost 2.9 million people choosing to walk. Coming in third place is catching the bus or coach, followed by the train, and then the tram, metro or underground. The sixth most popular method of getting to work is via bike, with 762,334 people cycling to the office, equating to 4% of commuters.


Director of the RAC Foundation, Stephen Glaister said: “The astonishing thing is the level of car reliance amongst urban workers, not just those who live in rural areas.”

This, however, is not the only interesting piece of information to come from this report. For example, in London, the car remains the most popular way to commute to work everyday. The tube comes in a close second, with more than one fifth of commuters travelling by the underground, however, one in three workers rely on a car or a van to get into work.

Blaenau Gwent in Wales is the area that comes at the top with more than eight in ten people choosing to drive to work everyday.

The areas with the fewest number of people driving to the office all happen to be the boroughs of London: Islington, Westminster and Camden.

The RAC Foundation report demonstrates just how expensive the cost of driving has become, with the prices of fuel and oil increasing twice as fast as the cost of living over the past ten years. It shows that 800,000 of the poorest car-owning households spend over one quarter of their disposable income on buying and running a car.

Mr Glaister says: “The coalition government has rightly prioritised efforts to get the nation working, but it has to remember how the nation actually travels to work.

“People are still driving despite a decade in which the cost of running a car has outstripped wage inflation. Transport poverty is a real threat to the economy. There would be uproar if domestic heating was taxed at 60%, so why is it acceptable for road fuel to attract such high taxation?”

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