A new survey by marketing research firm Ipsos claims that the UK public backs actions by the government to encourage more cycling and public transport usage.
The survey interviewed a random representative sample of 2,240 people aged 16+ in the UK and found that while people support backing more cycling and public transport usage, there was a strong attachment to car use and ownership.
Figures show that seven in ten UK adults (71%) support actions to encourage more people to walk or cycle more than they currently do and to reduce car usage, while the same amount feel they need a car to suit their current lifestyle.
The research also shows that the appetite to cycle varies by age and gender. Those aged between 25 and 34 (58%) were much more likely to cycle than those aged 55+ (32%). Men (50%) are more likely to cycle than women (39%).
Christian Easdown, Ipsos Associate Director of Public Affairs, said: “There is considerable appetite among many people to adopt more sustainable travel behaviours such as walking, cycling or using public transport over driving a car. But there are significant barriers to this happening in practice – for example, most people think our roads aren’t safe for cyclists.”
Road safety was one of the key points in the survey, with two-thirds (64%) of people agreeing that it is ‘too dangerous to cycle on the roads’ including a quarter (26%) who ‘agree strongly.’
The Ipsos report goes on to say that more than half (55%) say there is too much traffic congestion in their local area, with a smaller proportion (45%) in favour of schemes that would charge road users a fee to drive around towns and cities to reduce congestion and improve the environment.
Easdown added: “It remains to be seen if the ‘cost of living’ crisis and sensitivities about interventions being ‘anti-car’ make a difference to public opinion too.”